There are a number of rumors spreading about the purpose of the new cartoon character meme on Facebook, including rumors that the trend was started by a “group of pedophiles” which used the technique to “get children to accept their friend requests faster”. This rumor and others are false.
We also received emails this morning that the new meme was in support of “violence against children”. None of these rumors are true. In November the cartoon character meme began spreading around Facebook and there was no knowledge of the source. While Cartoon Network jumped on board and began promoting the activity via their Facebook page, it isn’t quite sure that they are the original source. Since then, a number of organizations have tried to take advantage of the meme and suggest users switch their profile pic.
The most recent organization was the “Campaign to end violence against children“, although it’s not confirmed that any official organization created this page. In the meantime, the following status update has been spreading around Facebook:
ATTENTION! JUST HEARD THIS on 60MINUTES: if you have a cartoon character set as your default, please romove it. This “support to stop Child Abuse” is a scam. The idea was started by a group of pedophiles to get children to accept their friend requests faster. It was just on TV and will be on the news tonight! Please post this as your status to spread the word and warn others!
The bottom line is that the rumors are false, however that isn’t stopping thousands of users from spreading false information about the cartoon character facebook meme.