This past week, the internet was inundated with blogs, status updates, and tweets about the Kony 2012 Campaign organized by the NGO Invisible Children. I am sure by now most have seen the video or heard about the campaign led by activist and film maker Jason Russell. With more than 100 million views, this video is already being called the most viral video in history.
The goal of the organization and the campaign is to create awareness and garner international attention that the NGO hopes will lead to the eventual arrest of Joseph Kony, the leader of a rebel group that originated in Uganda, who stands accused of brainwashing countless children across northern Uganda, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into prepubescent killers. Kony has been charged by the International Criminal Court with numerous charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and child abduction.
While most people would agree that Kony is a criminal who needs to be captured and punished, there are a variety of opinions in the blogosphere about the organization, the video, and its tone; these opinions span the spectrum from adoration to vitriolic comments. News outlets and bloggers have written about the relevance of this campaign, the intentions of the organization and its questionable finances. Some have criticized the video’s oversimplification of a complex situation, while others have lauded the power in its simplicity.
But what is undeniable is the integral role that social media played in the campaign. This campaign, in my opinion, is a great template for the mobilization of people using social media and social networking systems. Read the rest of this entry »