Why We Care About KONY 2012 #stopkony

It’s safe to bet that most people woke up on Wednesday morning wondering what the hell Kony 2012 is.

After watching the half-hour long video, I definitely had a better idea, but I’m still not 100 per cent caught up on the history of the Lord’s Resistance Army and Kony in general. I’m sure most people feel the same way, considering the majority of the western hemisphere didn’t know who he was 48 hours ago.

Of course, with anything that goes viral, there’s critical backlash. Specifically, the link I saw passed around the most was this. Invisible children has since responded.

One argument against the charity, Invisible Children, is that awareness doesn’t equal action. That may be true, but the point of the video was to make Kony famous, and it definitely has. The problem Invisible Children was having prior to this was creating awareness because no one knew who Kony was. Now we all do.

A few people have asked me to explain this story, and truth be told, it’s moving too fast for me to accurately do that. Instead, I’ve compiled a few news stories and ideas from sources I trust, found below.

Regardless of what your opinion is on Invisible Children, you have to admit their social media tactics had a phenomenal impact and we can all learn a lot from that.

-       Backgrounder on the video from the Globe and Mail 

-       Can social media help hunt down a Ugandan warlord? From the CBC 

Kim Magi covers international news stories and explains why we should care. Kim is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Toronto. Follow Kim @KMagi.

For more news to think about, read Kim’s coverage of the grisly Dustin Paxton case. 

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5 thoughts on “Why We Care About KONY 2012 #stopkony

  1. I’m not really on board with sending American troops into sovereign nations to deal with domestic problems #korea #vietnam #grenada #panama #nicaragua #iraq #afghanistan #etc

  2. The main criticism that I’ve heard about this video actually hasn’t been that awareness doesn’t equal action – the main criticisms have been that Invisible Children is fundraising via this video, and that there are very real problems with donating your money to them, because:
    a) the way they have distributed their funds in the past has been questionable
    b) they support military intervention, and that in particular the military initiatives that they back have allegedly been engaging in much looting and sexual assault
    c) the biggest reason i think:
    The makers of this video don’t seem to actually know what the shit is going on in Uganda. They seem to be completely ignoring the current state of the country, and in particular ignoring the LOCAL initiatives that have been working on the ground to deal with this conflict for years. There is a lot of “white American saviour” crap going on here, and there’s a big problem with that (see: colonialism). Here’s a great response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVY5jBnD-E&noredirect=1

  3. Pingback: The Difference Between Assault and Torture | The LRMC

  4. Good read on this one Kim, please write more posts!

    I’m inclined to agree with Ryan, military intervention would be a violent prolonged action. What would it accomplish? It would remove one nasty character without addressing any of the structural forces at the heart of the issue. It would help us feel great about ourselves for ‘getting involved’ and ‘making a difference’, when there are countless other crises floating below the radar closer to home. Don’t get me wrong, Kony’s actions are deplorable, but I don’t know that North American’s can be responsible for the rest of the world when we are struggling to maintain our own systems.

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