Facebook status message for breast cancer offends netizens | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Facebook status message for breast cancer offends netizens

delhi Updated: Dec 21, 2010 22:54 IST
Nandini R Iyer

How would it help a breast cancer victim, if you were to set you Facebook status to "Rum" or Whisky" or even "Gin"? Or if not a breast cancer victim, would a "drink" status message make you more aware of breast cancer?

That's what many irate bloggers and netizens want to know.

In case you don't already know, the latest "breast cancer awareness status message game" uses a drink as an indicator for you relationship status.

Thus: "Tequila (I'm single), Rum (Touch and Go), Champagne (engaged), Beer (married), Vodka (I'm the other woman), Gin (want to get married). One enterprising FB user came up with Redbull (teetotaller in a committed relationship).

It started in 2009 with a "pssst" mail sent by women to only their girlfriends to generate awareness for breast cancer. Just write the colour of your bra as your status message.

"Let the men wonder what's going on".

At some point, a line in the mail asked women to carry out a breast self-exam before posting the colour as their FB status.

In early 2010, the secret of status messages was changed to "Post where you like to keep your purse when you come home, but don't write that it's your purse". So messages like "I like it on the sofa" and "I like it on the floor" did the rounds for a while.

The latest avatar of the girlie mail, however, has offended a large section of the online community.

"…And now! I'm being asked to put a drink on my status to illustrate to men my relationship status? How is this spreading breast cancer awareness?" asks Meredith at tumbler.com.

Another post on blogspot says, "What breast cancer and all diseases need is for funds to go to sick people who can't pay their bills…"

Several comments have been left by women who feel that what may have genuinely begun as a way to generate awareness for a serious disease is now being reduced to a "foolish chain e-mail being forwarded by people who don't even read what they're forwarding".

On the other side of the debate, however, are people who post comments in response to such comments insisting that these messages did help them or people they knew to become more aware of the need for breast examination either by themselves or by a doctor.