#KONY2012…

Does this seem familiar to you?

So  I realized a HUGE buzz over the internet as I’m sure you have too.

If there is enough social media buzz over Facebook,Twitter, etc to sit people through a half hour clip, it must be good. 

Just to be clear, this post is strictly my opinion and views, and information has been taken from different sources. There will be people that agree and disagree, which is only natural. 

From a perspective of someone who signed onto Twitter and noticed the Kony 2012 trends, as well as the Facebook “Cover the Night” events, I instantly got interested in what on earth I had missed from my few hour absence from the internet yesterday. Within seconds, I had come across the film that the Invisible Children organization has put together.

Watch Kony 2012

Instantly, the video was able to capture my attention and get inspired to make a change to this ongoing conspiracy. Even while I was watching this clip, my Facebook was slowly getting dominated by profile pictures, cover photos, and shared videos about Kony 2012.

Vimeo Stats for Kony2012

After seeing these statistics, it really made me realize just how influential social media really is. I am all for helping the cause and raising awareness about Kony, and I am most definately willing to do what I can to stop this. But wait, what is it that I am doing?

Somehow, the idea of putting posters around town doesn’t seem to convince me of how this will arrest Kony, the #1 criminal.

On one side – Yes. Raising awareness is very important, and getting the message is influential. In fact, it is because of these methods that I, and many others, are beginning to learn about this.

I mean, just look at how many profile picture changes are occurring!

But remind me how we are supposed to capture this man in Uganda by tweeting “KONY 2012”.

Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.
Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.
” – http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com.nyud.net/

I find it hard to believe that every dollar you spend on the posters, bracelets, and merchandise is going directly to the cause. It is probably geared towards a number of other things (who knows, even another movie to continue to raise awareness), which almost turns into a vicious cycle.

Here is a post written by Chris Blattman, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Economics at Yale. Perhaps it may be a little harsh, or not what the public wants to hear, but it does raise a few good points.

To have a look for yourself of the charity rating of Invisible Children, check out this link. So do you think your money is going to a good cause? Or booking a first class flight ticket for the organizers?

If you’re still interested in further reading, here is another article which raises the question “Should I donate money to Kony 2012 or not?”

At first glance, I was excited around the idea of KONY2012. It really gets your blood pumping once you realize that we can all truly make a change, simply by starting off with a tweet or status update. How times have changed.

At second glance, I realized that all this money fuelling around merchandise was going into somebody’s pocket.

So I stand at an almost neutral point. I am ready to make a change and help Uganda with this complex problem and help the children. Yet, I feel that we should not be for the new market scheme “KONY2012″ by Invisible Children, but for capturing Kony, and raising awareness about this situation. Is there a thing line between the two? Perhaps. I am glad Invisible Children is attempting to make a change, I am just worried about the division of how much change they are willing to implement versus how much funds they want to acquire.

Perhaps you may be asking yourself : ” Alright so what do YOU suppose we do?!”

And, unfortunately, I have no answer to that, nor do many others. For now, we just do what feels right, what else is there?

So there you are, my opinion on this Kony 2012 campaign.

What’s yours?

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