We’re sure you’ve all heard about the Kony 2012 campaign. In the short amount of time since its release on March 5th, the video has gone viral—amassing over 73 million views and garnering support from a diverse audience that covers a vast spectrum of persons. This certainly speaks to the power that social media has in influencing public political opinion and how it has changed the face of our modern social movements. However, there is one major flaw: The victims themselves feel shunned by this campaign.
In Africa, particularly within Uganda, Kony 2012 is a topic of particular contention. The general public opinion on this subject is that its information and methodology are deeply flawed. Further, many believe that the proposed resolution, military intervention, is tantamount to neo-colonialism.
This may come as a surprise to many, as the video paints the deposition of Kony as an urgent issue, but it seems the only people supporting this venture are the campaign managers and the large, impressionable American population that seems to have been captivated by this issue. Great, but it is important to note that your support has been rallied six years too late; Kony left Uganda in 2006. Indeed, upon further research, we have uncovered vast information that directly contradicts the Kony 2012 campaign’s claims regarding the situation in Uganda.
What has become quite obvious following the initial outcry is that clever marketing–better read manipulation–has been used to whip the American public into a fervor. Invisible Children, the foundation behind the Kony 2012 campaign, has been subject to harsh criticism from various outlets attacking the validity and current relevance of their cause. Critics claim that the campaign has oversimplified and greatly exaggerated the situation for economic benefit, and much evidence seems to back their claims.
The Invisible Children foundation’s claim that the LRA has over 30,000 child soldiers is completely false and a gross misrepresentation of the facts. This improperly cited number is actually the number of children abducted by the LRA over a period of THIRTY years. While this is nonetheless an unfortunate fact to bear witness to, it is clear that the truth has been manipulated and distorted for greater effect and public sympathy.
Supporting this notion, on Saturday, March 10th, a victim of the Lord’s Resistance Army named Evelyn Apoko was featured on CNN lambasting the Invisible Children campaign for its focus on Kony instead of the actual victims. She states, “It is very painful to hear right now that Joseph Kony is… a celebrity [in the United States] … the kids are the ones that are...(Continue Reading)