About one week ago, on March 5, a film called KONY 2012 was released on YouTube by Invisible Children Inc. The purpose of the film is to raise global awareness of Joseph Kony, the most wanted man on the International Criminal Court’s list for crimes against humanity, including murder, abduction, mutilation, and child rape.
KONY 2012 has become a viral video on YouTube. After eight days, it has already been viewed over 76 million times worldwide. What has helped spread this video to millions of viewers all over the world is social media. I first learned about KONY 2012 through my news feed on Facebook. Usually, whenever my friends share YouTube videos on Facebook, I never look at them. However, a huge number of my friends were sharing KONY 2012 on Facebook. This sparked some curiosity in me, so I decided to watch the video. Soon after, I felt compelled to share the video as well. The film moved me, and I think that the KONY 2012 campaign is a righteous movement that will hopefully bring justice to Joseph Kony.
Although I support the effort to raise awareness of Joseph Kony, I am skeptical of the organization behind the movement, Invisible Children Inc. There have been speculations about Invisible Children Inc., regarding how they spend their money, which I came across on social media. According to one of the organizations financial statements, only 31% of the funds that they receive go towards actually helping people, while the rest goes in the pockets of the people in charge of the organization, travel expenses, and filmmaking. If you are thinking about donating to Invisible Children Inc., I would recommend that you do additional research before you do so or reconsider donating to a different organization that uses more than 31% of its fund to help the people it aims to help.
To conclude, I think social media is a great tool to help spread awareness on big issues in the world. The amount of awareness of Joseph Kony has grown immensely in the past week with the help of social media, and I think it’s great. But, it shouldn’t end at just trying to stop Joseph Kony. Awareness of other issues in the world should be raised as well. Social media can be a great tool to do that, which has already been proved by the KONY 2012 movement.
I will end off with a quote of a Facebook status from one of my friends, who will remain anonymous.
“On the subject of KONY 2012, yes, absolutely spread word. It’s important to have this kind of thing stopped around the world. But, don’t forget that this is one of many atrocities occurring in a few of many, many countries. There are many “liberation armies” all over Africa. There are many, many, many injustices all over the world. Don’t forget about the rest of the world, no matter how terrible this particular situation may be.”
Considine & Considine. Invisible Children, Inc. Financial Statements June 30, 2011 and 2010. San Diego: Considine & Considine, 22 Sept. 2011. PDF.
KONY 2012. Dir. Jason Russell. Perf. Jason Russell. YouTube. YouTube, 5 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. .
Stiles, Sarah. “Ugandan Leader Made Famous through KONY 2012 Campaign.” The Parthenon. Marshall University, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. .