This morning a friend mentioned the words Kony 2012, I had heard nothing of this Kony and when I said that to my friend responded extremely shocked and said that he couldn’t understand how I worked online and had not heard about it yet.
So, of course, I had to go and find out. And, yes, I was shocked I had not heard about.
Of course I have heard of Joseph Kony before and the brutal tactics he employs to recruit child soldiers. Many organisations and countless documentaries have been working to try and create some kind of way to stop these terrible crimes for at least the last 10 years and I am sure much longer.
One of those organisations is Invisible Children, the creators of the new viral campaign that is basically asking for everyone to shout loud enough that the USA army send money and equipment to make certain that it’s advisors currently in the region help the local armies find and arrest Joseph Kony so he can stand for his crimes in the International Courts.
If you have not yet seen the incredibly well made and tear jerking movie then you need to clear half an hour in your schedule and have a watch.
Kony 2012, The controversy?
Of course when anything like this goes viral it will of course attract some opposition and it seems that the organisation and it’s founders are coming under fire from a lot of sources questioning it’s goal, methods, spending and more. A lot of the accusations have come from blog posts, like this, and are now making their way onto many major media outlets.
I watched the film with great interest and applaud the campaigns spirit and original approach to overcoming a common problem with issues that don’t interest major government. I don’t know if I can ever fully agree with the method because I cringe at the thought of violence but I don’t see another feasible solution apart from switching the USA army advisors for UN advisors but that may not necessarily be any better!
However criticisms and controversy have not really been about the methods the film are asking but more directed at the Invisible Children Organisation. These have included
- The fact that the founders posed with guns
- The Ugandan army have been accused of rape and using children themselves
- The group spends a small amount in Uganda from the money it has earned
- The film is building a witch hunt
- And others….
Mainstream media is well publicising this controversy quoted blog posts and small comments from here and there but I am shocked that they are not digging deeper and actually offering us a better look at whether the group actually are a good organisation or not!
One example is this article from 3News in New Zealand. It claims they refused independent auditing but as far as I can tell their last financial statement was independently audited. It mentions the photo with the guns and the group they posed with but the group addressed this photo and it’s irony on their website and the article failed to mention that.
The mainstream media are not really pulling serious journalistic pieces on this. Their articles seem to be more or less blog post roundups with sprinkles of ill-toned opinion.
I want to see a full investigation into the situation, the organisation and the feasibility of what is being proposed so please, someone in the big media, put the time and effort into producing this for us to read!
I’ll be watching this closely and possibly getting involved.
Invisible Children address much of the controversy in their own words here.
What do you think?