(More on Techland: New Facebook Profile: Keep Calm & Carry On)
The campaign, urging people to upload a photo from their favorite childhood cartoon as their profile picture, aimed to curb child abuse by triggering fond childhood memories from Facebook users. Though it was a trivial form of advocacy, the campaign page garnered more than 90,000 “Likes” – until a rumor connecting the campaign with pedophilia hit the web via a story in the Daily Mail. “Rumors are now sweeping the net that the campaign is actually a smokescreen for pedophiles hoping to narrow down which users are children,” the article said, hitting the digital panic button.
The claim came out of reports that the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children denied any connection to the campaign, sparking the pedophile-related rumors, which Axten denies. “”This rumor is false,” he told FoxNews. “Thousands of people have taken up the campaign, none of whom can be identified as either young or old based on the profile picture chosen.”
Set to expire today, the campaign has come to a muddied end over the rumors, which (though properly characteristic of the Internet) have been completely overblown. In other news: Gay marriage legislation is likely behind today’s Tumblr outage.