Glen McNamee
Cartoon Facebook Avatars and the NSPCC
Posted on Dec 5, 2010 in Politics

NSPCCYou’ve may of seen the following posted on Facebook recently.

Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood. Until Monday (06/12), there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories! This is a campaign to stop violence against children.

or more recently this has started to appear.

Change your profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same, for the NSPCC. Until Monday (December 6th), there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is a campaign to stop violence against …children

Note the addition of the NSPCC to make it look more legitimate. However like a lot of these status messages that don’t link to an legitmate source (e.g. the NSPCC themselves) this isn’t real.

The NSPCC had this to say (Source)

Although the NSPCC did not originate the childhood cartoon Facebook campaign, we welcome the attention it has brought to the work we do 🙂

Some idiots have also started spreading the following message blaming paedophiles.  Some people are too stupid to be allowed on the internet. (Source)

just been told this :- Did U know that the group asking every1 2 change their profile picture 2 a cartoon character is actually a group of paedo’s. They doing it Bcos kids will accept their friend request faster if they see a cartoon picture. It has nothing 2 do with supporting child violence, it was on T.V and its on tonight’s news…. put this as your status 2 warn every1 & to get them to change back

A quick bit of research reveals that a version of this message start popping up during November in the US (Source), Greece and Cyprus, with the message stating it was just a bit of fun. Also around this time Cartoon Network created a Facebook event page for “Choose a Cartoon Character as Your Profile Picture for a Week” running from Nov. 21 to Nov. 28 (Source).

Valleywag reports it changed into an anti-child abuse meme sometime on or before December 3rd, in the brillantly titled Facebook Users Defeat All Child Abuse by Changing Their Profile Pictures.

Changing you facebook profile picture obviously isn’t going to help stop violence against children, and although many people are aware of this and have just joined in for fun why not help at the same time?

So here’s a challenge you anyone reading this who has changed their avatar to cartoon on Facebook. Donate to the Directly to the NSPCC here or donate to my just giving page for the NSPCC and when we raise 20 quid. I’ll change my Facebook avatar too.

Update 18:45 – 8 quid raised already! (Ok, five of it was me), also check out this great post called Charities have no use for your avatar by AngryJedi

Update 18:47 – Wow, someone has just donate another 12 quid giving my total of 12 quids already! To facebook to change my Avatar! Guess what’ll choose.

Update 18:54It’s Starscream, It’s always Starscream. Thanks to Garry Stonehouse and Emma Inkles for the donations.

Update 19:20 – Added the message about teh Peados! Also raise the target for donations, please keep donating!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rachel, Will Earl, Glen McNamee, Pete Davison, Anna-Klara and others. Anna-Klara said: RT @c64glen: If you've made your facebook avatar a cartoon please take a moment to read. […]

  2. Em says:

    Just sorry I couldn’t afford more, being a single mother / scourge on our great nation and all that. Good work!

  3. Conor says:

    I already donated on their website, but what the heck. I’ll donate a few more pounds. 😀

  4. Andrew Shaw says:

    Stop scaremongering. These types of rumours are dangerous and can cause havoc. So get a life, stop trying to be some sort of trend leader and stop trying to irate people who are gullible enough to believe you!

    • Glen McNamee says:

      I’m confused, are you talking to me, Andrew. If so did you read the post,?

      Or are you talking to the general Facebook populace the passed these messages on, which would make a little more sense, except I’m not one of those people.

  5. […] In fact, the originators of the meme had nothing to do with the NSPCC, as predicted. Fellow blogger, Commodore 64 enthusiast and all-round fine, upstanding gentleman Glen McNamee did a bit of research on the issue and uncovered the fact that the whole thing had actually originated in two separate places in November as a bit of fun, with no charity links whatsoever. Read Glen’s blog post about it here. […]

  6. Kate says:

    Errm to call any concerned adult an idot because they are unsure of why people are changing their pictures is just bloody rude in the day and age you have to be over cautious to protect our children. I donate to NSPCC every month and i never knew about this campain so it was not well publicised!!!

    • Alex says:

      Run-on madness!

      It’s not “well-publicised” because it’s not an NSPCC campaign. It’s a campaign that was made up on Facebook and attributed (wrongly in an attempt to give it credability–if you read the bloody article) to the NSPCC.

      Being cautious is a great thing. You should look out for your children. Being overly cautious surely isn’t though? We live in a country of ridiculous bureaucracy and overcoddled children. While children need to be protected and nutured, they also need a level of freedom to experience the world for themselves.

      All that said, I congratulate Glen for turning a massive facebook circle jerk into something that actually does something positive.

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