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In this article, the author addresses the criticisms of Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 campaign to highlight the success of the project as an advocacy movement. Sharing a video on Facebook is not tantamount to donating to Invisible Children. Equally, discrediting a video on Facebook is not tantamount to providing a solution. The primary ambition of advocacy must be to highlight the issue. Invisible Children, and their detractors, have been successful in this respect.
By Jack Hamilton, 8th March, 2012
A new human rights campaign has spread across the internet with a solitary aim: make Joseph Kony famous. The idea is that fame will enable Kony, the leader of the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, to be brought to justice.
The film was created by the group, Invisible Children, a charity set up to combat the use of child soldiers by raising awareness of the issue and making slick videos fit for popular consumption. This method, as well as the background of charity, has been questioned by other activists following the unprecedented social media success of the #Kony2012 and #StopKony campaign.
StopKony has been trending worldwide since Tuesday and to date ‘Kony 2012’ has over 32 million views on Youtube and Vimeo combined. This article outlines the intentions of the campaign before looking at the ripostes. The key message is, whatever the failings of Invisible Children and their campaign, the ‘tipping point’ of hope and inspiration rings true.