Yesterday the social media world was rocked by the Kony 2012 viral project, created by the self-proclaimed, Invisible Children. Featuring a 27 minute video on the Uganda abductions, rape and slavery of over 30,000 innocent children, the circulating footage demonises Joeseph Kony as a mass murderer and war criminal.
The film, however, is aimed at the kind-hearted and generous, to beg for donation and awareness on the Kony 2012 topic. Their aim: to make Kony famous. Awareness is the key, is the saviour, is the ultimate weapon to stop another 30,000 children being taken from their homes in Africa.
If you haven’t watched the film, do so now, as the coming days are only going to reveal more and more about the phenomenon. This is for many reasons, and not just the Invisible Children’s purpose. For one, they are being criticised for being scammers; they will allegedly take your money under the false prentenses and claims that Joespeh Kony is still enforcing war on Uganda, and that children are still being taken.
Take a moment to consider this, a note I have drawn from the International Business Times:
“In their campaigns, such organizations have manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil. They rarely refer to the Ugandan [government] atrocities or those of Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army, such as attacks against civilians or looting of civilian homes and businesses, or the complicated regional politics fueling the conflict.”
So, the IBT claim that the LRA are being exaggerated through the Invisible Children’s propaganda, forcing the Western and greater world to empty their pockets to a “good cause”. Who can resist a good karma opportunity, right?
Along the same lines, a blog gives us this thought:
In July 8th, 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) named Joseph Kony the number one criminal in the world because of his crimes in Uganda. Shortly after the ICC indicted Kony, he fled Uganda and officially has been in hiding since 2006 (Source). Basically, he has since been hiding in a hole like Saddam Hussein and has approximately as much power as Saddam Hussein had while he was living in his hole, next to none.
It has not yet been confirmed as to whether the Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 project is safe enough to deserve our undivided attention and trust, but the reminder is still there for those who are bound to be in a giving mood when their heartstrings are tugged: be wise, be skeptical and be logical when thinking about donation, and know roam both sides of the fence first. If the Kony campaign is really worth the time and effort that millions have already given in the past 24 hours, then terrific, but we must remain cautious, and question everything. We can, however, be proud of one thing; the world came together over a social networking trend. When the world is able to come together over something – no matter how small or big – then at least something has been accomplished.
(disclaimer: I am in full support of The Invisible Children. This is a two-sided argument).