Tweety Bird, SpongeBob, Winnie the Pooh invade Facebook

By JKarlos Villegas
The Mindoro Post

SpongeBob, Tweety Bird, Winnie the Pooh, Bart Simpson, Betty Boop, Naruto.

These stars from the cartoon planet have invaded Facebook. And they and their pals will rule over the popular social networking site at least until Monday as the cyber drive to raise awareness on violence against children has gone  viral.

“Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same,” says the non-profit campaign whose origin has remained unknown.

“There should be no human faces on Facebook but an invasion of memories to raise awareness to end violence against children,” it adds.

A great majority of Mindoro Post Facebook members responded to the call.

Virnanette Alcedo announces that she “just supported the campaign to stop violence against children.”

“Let’s make Facebook free from human face until Monday, December 6 ….come on people, show your support!!!,” says Alcedo.

Even former Oriental Mindoro Vice Governor Estee Aceron and activist priest Fr. Edwin Gariguez have joined the innovative push.

Lea Espallardo, a Bangkok-based Mindoreña, also “joins the campaign to prevent all kinds of violence against children by changing my profile photo to…….. Voltes V!”

“Let’s Volt in!” yells Espallardo, who heads a  program that mobilizes Mekong artists to turn their creative energies into a potent tool for child rights protection in the Asian sub-region.

But the animated crusade  doesn’t seem to sit well with some Facebook denizens.

Indie filmmaker Jason Paul Calma Laxamana has scathing remarks against the cartoon campaigners.

“Hay naku, kalokohan lang ang cartoon cartoon as profile pic na iyan. Ano namang matutulong niyan sa mga batang nakakaranas ng violence? Puro kacornyhan ang nalalaman,” says Laxamana in his status message.

The rant elicited over 200 comments—some were cheering on his hardline stance, some argued that even a seemingly inane campaign could be a good start to make things better for children. Others simply cursed Laxamana, also a photographer who features mostly scantily-clad young men from Central Luzon in his shoots.

The global netizens are generally sold to the idea.

Demont Daniel, with a Walt Disney avatar, said: “Good job! This is exactly how social media can create a positive shift of people’s thinking worldwide. Proud!”

“I work with bringing families back in Las Vegas and volunteer my time to the community daily. It at least is raising the awareness. So it is doing something. Could more be done? Absolutely. But I salute the campaign. Help fund them don’t knock them,” Daniel said in his post in the Facebook group “Campaign To End Violence Against Children—Childhood Cartoon Faces.”

The newly-created group has close to 16,000 members as of this posting.

Even abuse victims give the thumbs up.

“This is about bringing awareness. We all know more should be done but can’t you appreciate the fact that selfish as some of the reasons people are posting cartoons they are at least responding to this,” says an  Arizona woman with a manga cartoon in her profile pic.

“I was a victim of child abuse,” she confides. “But I didn’t let abuse totally strip me of my childhood and I am proud to put my favorite cartoon as my profile picture.”

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