The power of Social-Media – Kony2012


By Alejandro Gonzalez, Jaime Carro, Deborah Jeggli and Susana Andres.

Since a few days a very sweeping and impressive video, directed by Jason Russell, is going around the World Wide Web. Kony2012 is not just an education film it is a Social-Media phenomenon. But what is behind the ground-breaking campaign of the non-profit-organisation “Invisible Children Inc.”? Is it blessing or curse?

Throughout five days the video, about Joseph Kony, world’s worst war criminal, was accessed about 70 million times. Kony2012 has spread out the world like no other Social-Media campaign before. The goal of Invisible Children Inc. to achieve through this video is, to fulfil their aim and stop Joseph Kony and his army the Lord’s Resistance Army by making him the most famous person around the world.

The 30 minutes video was created in order to inform against Joseph Kony and show the world what he is wreaking. Since over 30 years the LRA, led by Joseph Kony, is arresting children in Uganda and converts them in soldiers and sexual slaves.

The idea of the video campaign therefore is to get in the minds of people through Social-Media as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and so on.

Kony2012 is followed by millions of people around the world that will attend to the due date, April 20th 2012. This night everybody, from all over the world, will take the streets in their main cities of every country and will cover it with the Kony2012 campaign prints. This is what at least Invisible Children Inc. wants to reach through the campaign. Will it work out? We will see soon. Thanks to the social movement involved in the campaign, Invisible Children Inc. obtained at least the attention of the governments; what they are asking for is support of the US army in order to maintain the Uganda army to arrest Kony effectively.

Even though Kony2012 is breaking every limit of Social-Media power there is a lot of criticism to this campaign. Several journalists, Social-Media and Communication-Media denounces that the video plays with the sensible part of the people and that they are hiding information about the movement.

Moreover public opinions criticism that the Kony 2012 video shows African in a very stereotyped and negative manner.

Also from some parts in Uganda, negative reactions have appeared since local population saw the video. The Kony 2012 brought up memories filled with horror and violence. The killing still happens and so watching the video made some Ugandans feel the fright again.

Despite that Mr. Ochen, whose brother and cousin were both kidnapped by the LRA and are still missing, says the criticism misses a key point. “How would we ever be able to have so much global attention come to us, on an issue which has been running for almost three decades, and which still needs more attention on a daily basis,” he asks. “That film has put Kony’s name on people’s lips. They are asking questions, they are trying to understand. The film is not without its challenges, but the more people get connected directly to the victims, and the more that people understand what Kony did here, and what he may still be doing in other countries, the more everyone can work together for real, long-lasting peace.” (The Christian Science Monitor, March 12th, 2012)

Social Media facts and figures – Kony 2012

Facebook:

Kony 2012 (http://www.facebook.com/KONY20121) with 743’373 likes by March 16th, 2012

Kony 2012 – Official site (http://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALKONY2012?ref=ts) with 19’851 likes by March 16th, 2012

Twitter:

“STOP KONY 2012” (https://twitter.com/ – !/WESTOPKONY) has 63’603 followers by March 16th, 2012

Youtube:

“Kony2012” (http://youtu.be/Y4MnpzG5Sqc) with 79’918’805 views by March 16th, 2012

Vimeo:

KONY 2012 (http://vimeo.com/37119711) with 1.7M plays and 1’937 likes by March 16th, 2012

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