Well, the video appears to have made a splash. More than 50 million people have watched it and a meaningful fraction of that group have taken some form of action to show their interest.
I’m glad to see journalists doing their job, asking legitimate questions and encouraging skepticism, although I’m a little surprised by the cynicism and contempt on display – I’m not linking either word, but there are plenty of examples of both below. Should I be surprised? Maybe not. Should we all be a bit more cynical post-Three Cups of Deceit? Probably.
The organization backing the Kony 2012 campaign, Invisible Children, has already had its “Jane Fonda” moment and been accused of taking up the “white man’s burden” here and here. Oh Kipling! (I remember my reaction when I first read this poem in middle school: “But it’s a satire…right?”)
Without further ado, read for yourself, draw your own conclusions:
From The New York Times:
“Online a Distant Conflict Soars to Topic No. 1”
“How the Kony Video Went Viral”
“The Kony Kerfuffle”
From The Guardian:
Kony 2012 Documentary on Ugandan Warlord is Unlikely Viral Phenomenon
Kony 2012 video goes viral, and so do concerns about its producers
Kony 2012: What’s the Real Story?
Child abductee featured in Kony 2012 defends film maker’s against criticism
From The Christian Science Monitor:
“Invisible Children Video Stirs US Response: We’re Hunting Down Joseph Kony”
And Foreign Policy:
Guest Post: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)
Invisible Children has issued an official response to criticism here. I’m looking forward to starting to learn more about Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army as soon as this arrives in the mail – scratch that, it just arrived!