That KONY 2012 viral video going everywhere is kind of a scam, FYI
There’s a viral video about Joseph Kony, a Ugandan rebel who committed a great deal atrocities, being shared like crazy. Small problem: Though sort of accurate, it’s kind of a scam.
Kony’s a bad dude, no question. But this write-up on The Daily What distills what the problem is with all of your friends and family sharing it is:
The United States is already plenty involved in helping rout Kony and his band of psycho sycophants. Kony is on the run, having been pushed out of Uganda, and it’s likely he will soon be caught, if he isn’t already dead. But killing Kony won’t fix anything, just as killing Osama bin Laden didn’t end terrorism. The LRA might collapse, but, as Foreign Affairs points out, it is “a relatively small player in all of this — as much a symptom as a cause of the endemic violence.”
There’s a lot more at The Daily What about the situation, specifically the EXTREMELY shady organization, Invisible Children Inc., who seeded this video. The short of it: They don’t allow their financials to be audited, they’re rated poorly by some major charity watchdog groups, and only 31% of their money actually goes to helping people according to one financial statement they did release. And Kony himself hasn’t been seen or active in any guerrilla organizations since 2006 UPDATE: Or 2008, depending on the source. There are conflicting reports on this due to the lack of media in the region.
Point being, don’t just fall for for a well-produced video out of white guilt. K?
The video, for your reference, is below.
UPDATE: This Reddit comment, pointed out to us by someone on Facebook, is also a good source with, you know, facts and such.
UPDATE 2: For all the people who still want to believe this video below is legit, look at this quote from an article on the subject from The Globe and Mail. Does this sound like the way a credible and worthwhile social movement takes hold?
“According to YouTube’s own statistics, the video is most popular with girls and young women aged 13 to 24.
Musicians and celebrities were among the first to tweet about campaign to their followers, including Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Taylor Swift.”
If there’s one place I’m going for reliable social advocacy news, it’s Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber’s Twitter accounts. EDITOR’S NOTE: Taylor Swift has since deleted the tweet for reasons unknown.
UPDATE 4: Invisible Children just issued a statement attempting to refute some of the claims here and on countless other sites. Rather than attempt to distill what they’re saying, I advocate going there and judging for yourself whether their response has merit.