Taking an Inside Look at the KONY2012 Video

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In March 2012, a video was uploaded to YouTube and gained immediate worldwide attention. Not-for-profit group Invisible Children found itself a viral success when it released its 30-minute documentary-style video, “KONY 2012.” The video seeks support for the arrest of Joseph Kony, an international war criminal known to abduct and force African children into combat. Viewers emphasized with the video, as it became the fastest-growing viral video to date. However, the success came with a lot of media and blog criticism, particularly regarding financials and manipulation of facts. Despite raising record-breaking awareness, the KONY 2012 campaign created by Invisible Children was ultimately ineffective in executing any warlord-capturing strategies.

Tension in Uganda
To best understand KONY 2012, one must first recognize the gravity of Joseph Kony’s actions and the complexity of his capture. Tension in Uganda developed long before Kony came to power. Problems started when various Acholi prophets, claiming to be possessed by spirits, began to challenge the National Resistance Army, also known as the NRA (Behrand 1999). A young woman named Alice Auma, later to be renamed Alice Lakwena after the spirit that guided her calling, transformed these feeble uprisings into organized war against the government beginning in 1985. While attempting to march to the capital of Uganda, Lakwena and her rebel soldiers were stopped and defeated by government troops (ibid). Lakwena vanished to Kenya, leaving behind a legacy that her young cousin, Joseph Kony, would soon take over.
What started as a holy movement to save the Acholi people from evil spirits and repression from the Uganda government was transformed by Kony into a fight for power. Kony renam...

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...n issue that may have been ignored by mainstream media. It makes sense that activist documentaries would take advantage of the new distribution opportunities available to them. However, one must realize the responsibility and gravity that comes along with the power to connect with millions of viewers. The campaign calling for the arrest of Joseph Kony was moving and emotional, creating attention and awareness throughout much of the Internet. Although KONY 2012 raised awareness, which is beneficial to the cause, the video is not responsible for any success overseas in capturing Joseph Kony. Instead of focusing on the film and media costs, Invisible Children should be funding projects in Uganda to help the people of Uganda move forward from the past and create successful, sustaining futures, such as aid for displaced people and the recovery of returned child soldiers.

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