Giving in to the latest rumor to sweep Facebook, that the recent "anti-child abuse campaign" cartoon character stunt was the brainstorm of pedophiles, is giving the perverts too much credit. And it's possibly putting some very dangerous ideas into their already sick heads.
So let's just stop invoking their name into everything that happens on the Internet, can we please? We know they are there.
In case you're late to the game, the rumor began this weekend that TV news was reporting molesters were behind the latest slacktivism campaign of swapping out profile pictures with photos of your favorite cartoon character to raise awareness for child abuse.
Never mind that this was the dumbest awareness campaign ever, the "theory" was that cartoon characters will more clearly indicate a person's -- or a child's -- age and help pedophiles better target their friend invites.
It's not the wackiest logic in the world based on my own unofficial assessment of how well this pretend theory actually held up in regard to my own Facebook friends and the cartoon characters they chose to assume this weekend:
Haley. Rainbow Brite. The cartoon was at its popular height in the mid '80s, which would make this person somewhere in their late 20s or early 30s. (She's in her mid-30s.)
Candi. Japanese anime character. This form of Japanese animation in the tradition of Pokemon and avatars gained popularity oversees in the late 1990s and reached fever pitch in the 2000s, making this person in their late teens. (She's 20.)
Fiona. The cast of Recess. A short-lived Disney series that premiered in the late '90s and ran till 2001. Also indicative of the 20-something set. (She's 26.)
Jack. Linus from Charlie Brown. My generation grew up on Charles Schultz! This person could be 30s to 40s. Jack is in his late 30s.
Clearly, cartoons say a lot about us, or, at least, our own children's age. If the rumor wasn't already proven false, we might all be freaking out! Except that it's not true, according to Snopes.com, the Internet hoax mythbusters:
Apparently the only substantiation for this rumor was that it's being reported on CNN and other major news networks, which as far as google tells me, also isn't true. So where's the other proof? There is none.
So what should we do now? Here's something -- take down your silly cartoon profile pictures. It's Monday. The campaign is over. It's time to move on to some new social media initiative that makes not a lick of difference to anything, but that gives us something to do besides signing off and going out and actually doing something that makes a difference.
And next time one of these pedophile rumors starts, ignore it. It only feeds their ego and gives them more false power and importance, which is the last thing anyone needs.
Did you change your Facebook photo this weekend? Did you remember to change it back?