Kony 2012: A victory for social media or a simplified response to a complex problem?
Kony 2012. a video documenting the abuses of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, has been viewed by more than 40 million people on YouTube, and was gained praise from many for raising awareness. Even the Obama administration has weighed in, offering contratulations for “raising awareness.” But is the campaign evidence of the power of social media, or an oversimplified social media obssession?
“No sooner had “Kony 2012″ gone wildly viral than critics in the blogosphere were attacking it for a host of perceived sins, from sentimentality to Western arrogance to dangerous oversimplification,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
“While this is a very impressive example of viral marketing, it’s raising awareness for a cause that doesn’t need awareness. Those 30,000 kids who were kidnapped, this isn’t going to un-kidnap them,” Scott Gilmore, chief executive of Peace Dividend Trust, a non-profit that focuses on streamlining inefficiencies in humanitarian operations, tells The Australian.