Right. Joseph Kony.
Monday morning, one of my office babies asked me who Kony was. “I have no idea,” I said. “Kanina pa siya trending [sa Twitter] e. Di ko naman siya kilala. (He’s been trending over at Twitter for a while. But I don’t know who he is.)”
While I’d really rather spend my time learning the ropes of my (not-so-new) position, curiosity got the best of me. Poring over wall after wall of texts, I got this gist: Joseph Kony is a bad man. And it has to stop. That’s the Invisible Children‘s call to action. Hmm. (Btw, their website is not optimized. Poor URL canonicalization. Want SEO services? Hehe.)
So, in connection with our business, I treated this as a small project. I studied how this video became so viral.
To date, the KONY 2012 video over at YouTube has over 21 million views. It also garnered 279,884 comments, with most of them supporting the cause of Invisible Children. Some, however, are opposed to the movement. I am part of that small percentage.
While I do agree that what Joseph Kony does is indeed not humane, I am not going to stand for military action. I am opposed to the KONY 2012 movement, and I am not supporting the call of Invisible Children. This has not been my way of thinking, even when I was in college. The flame of activism is very much alive in the University, but I was a student who believed that change could be achieved through many other means.
While the information dissemination is good, call to action is a whole different ball game. Money is being circulated, people. Those donations they’re asking for? Where are they going? Before this whole thing went viral who knew about Invisible Children, really? Do you know?
Also, we must remind ourselves that teenagers and young adults make up a HUGE chunk of the Internet population. Kids who are very impressionable and not very keen on dissecting facts. (Sorry, kids. Di ko naman kayo minamaliit. But you do have a tendency to latch on to things you don’t really understand. I went through that stage. I think I still do sometimes. Haha.) The (young) celebrities who have Tweeted about this movement have caught the eyes of various online media, thus creating the impression that this is something that we must take care of. WE. No. I do not believe that. We have institutions to take care of that. Again, awareness is not bad. It’s the call to action I am very uncomfortable with.
I mean, look at all these people posting about Kony. Scroll through the posts and you can see people who are so badly educated about the issue, who simply reduced Joseph Kony as another nigger who wants to create ruckus. NO. WRONG. Srsly, guys, it’s disturbing.
So, no. I won’t post the Kony 2012 video. No, I won’t buy the baller bands. No, I don’t believe in your call to action.
Read more about the dissenting opinions:
- The Sydney Morning Herald: Get Kony goes viral: questions raised about charity’s social media blitz
- BoingBoing.net: A Viral Mess
- ForeignPolicy.com: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)
- VisibleChildren.com: We got trouble