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article imageVideo: Invisible Children Campaign for Kony goes viral

By Brian LaSorsa     Mar 7, 2012 in World
Invisible Children, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing information about the atrocities committed by guerilla leader Joseph Kony.
Executives unveiled a new project yesterday with the intention of making Kony globally “famous” and thus closer to justice.
On Monday, the organization released a 30-minute documentary that has already gone viral. Seen by over 4.3 million people, the Kony 2012 video was supplemented by a now-trending #StopKony tag across the internet.
Jason Russell, the director of the organization’s documentary, narrates the story of his time spent in the East African country aiding communities affected by Kony’s wrath, focusing on his relationship with a Ugandan boy named Jacob.
Invisible Children, though, has been criticized in the past for potential mishandlings of donations and oversimplification of facts.
A column in Foreign Affairs explains,
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 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.
In fact, the documentary mentions that Obama’s decision to send 100 troops to Uganda last year was a major effect of Invisible Children’s activism. These troops sent by the current administration are meant to train the Ugandan military, which brings another conflict into the mix.
The Ugandan government has an incredibly awful record of human rights abuses of its own, making many feel uncomfortable that the US government is indirectly permitting this activity to happen.
A similar failed attempt to take out Kony was made in 2006. The US government trained Guatemalan commandos to infiltrate the guerilla group’s encampments, but Kony’s training allowing his men to kill the entire team.
Nonetheless, one cannot argue that Invisible Children has not made fantastic use of social media for this project. A relatively unknown guerilla leader has become a worldwide name within a span of two days.
It is a sure sign what the future will hold when the internet is in charge of revolution.
More about invisible children, stopkony, kony2012, Joseph kony, kony
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