Notice that I didn’t post or repost anything about KONY 2012 yesterday, either on here, on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else. (Other than to comment that they struck an impressively contagious social media campaign.)
Yesterday, I saw KONY blow up on every single network I’m on (even on, gasp, Instagram). Naturally, I skimmed the video. I did a quick Google search about this man, Joseph Kony. What I concluded was that Invisible Children is running a flashy campaign about a small issue that most people previously never paid attention to.
That’s phenomenal. From my quick research, Kony has been committing his atrocities for decades, and I’ve never heard of him on the news. I bet there are many other hidden issues in the world that mainstream media simply doesn’t pick up for whatever reason.
I still refrain from taking sides or spreading one message, and that’s something I do for every controversial issue I see until I can do more research myself. That earlier link that I reblogged criticizing Invisible Children? Take that with a grain of salt just as you would with any other piece of argumentative literature (including the KONY campaign). From my basic impression of IC, that article is as anti-IC as KONY is anti-Kony. Meaning, facts are liberally thrown in as long as they support the argument.
I suppose that KONY 2012 overmarketed themselves also made me tread extra carefully. Anything that comes charged with pathos and gets a crowd (in this case, the internet) riled up sets off my BS meter. It’s an effective marketing strategy, but it also encourages people to jump on the bandwagon without really thinking, which is what happens in a mob. In addition, I was disappointed that the KONY 2012 website’s primary drive is for you to pledge with your email. Second thing was asking you to call celebrities to raise awareness. Really? If I’m going to support a cause, I’m going to want something far more actionable than that or buying fancy t-shirts and bumper stickers.
Update: The Atlantic has written a good piece on this very last point.