Kony 2012: a viral mess


(Photo: The Kony 2012/Invisible Children guys posing with SPLA soldiers on the Sudan-Congo border in April 2008. Photograph by Glenna Gordon.)


UPDATE: African voices respond.


Mark Kersten at Justice in Conflict writes about the Kony 2012/Invisible Children video everyone's going crazy over today:

It is hard to respect any documentary on northern Uganda where a five year-old white boy features more prominently than any northern Ugandan victim or survivor.

Harder still when the documentary Godwins itself just minutes in with a Hitler namecheck. There's another good post at Foreign Policy which attempts to parse why this dubious fundraising/attention-getting campaign has spread so wide so quickly, and the many things it seems to get wrong:

[L]et's get two things straight: 1) Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn't been for 6 years; 2) the LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality.

From Grant Oyston:

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces.

(...) Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something.

The photograph by Glenna Gordon (above) of the men behind "Kony 2012" has become an interesting part of the story.

There's even an official Kony 2012 drinking game.

To play, you will need: eight (8) pickleback shots; one (1) Brandy Alexander; one (1) bowl Feuerzangenbowle; one (1) six-pack of Tusker Lager; one (1) jar green Play-Doh; one (1) bottle of Zima; one dozen (12) chocolate chip cookies; one (1) My Little PonyTM cocktail made of equal parts Malibu rum and Sunkist orange soda (generally used for statutorily raping 14 year olds); three (3) bottles of wine, one (1) brick wall.

And via a Boing Boing reader, here's a disturbing offshoot: random idiots on Facebook, jazzed up by the Kony2012 campaign, declaring their excitement for the campaign: "Let's go kill this [n-word]."

Invisible Children responds to the criticism here.

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