The Internet is a really weird place sometimes, as a user, you can be pottering around for weeks hoping someone will discover your genius and it never happens, or, weeks, maybe even months later, it does, and then you’re viral.
The viewing stats for this weeks biggest viral offering ‘Kony 2012’ are mental. Jumping from barely anything to 58K on Monday, to 2.7 million yesterday, up to 3.1 million today at the time of writing. But it’s a really big deal that it’s viral, I mean it really is, and it’s important that anyone with access to the Internet watches it and does their bit to put Joseph Kony in the media spotlight, it’s the 29 minutes of your life, and it’s important.
Director, Jason Russell and his Invisible Children campaign are aiming to oust Ugandan dictator, Joseph Kony for his appalling war crimes that include the abduction and indoctrination of up to 30,000 children. With so many young girls being raped and young boys becoming child soldiers under Kony’s violent reign, it’s really easy to see why a man like this needs to be stopped. Kony is the ‘top’ war criminal on the ICC list at The Hague yet has never been brought to justice.
Obviously a campaign like this, and on this scale should be able to do some good, and I really hope that it isn’t a flop, because getting major backing from 15 year olds on Tumblr, isn’t necessarily the definition of success, but I’m hoping that it makes a difference and that there’s more to it than that. Perhaps in creating notoriety for someone like Joseph Kony, more room will be created for additional ‘forgotten war criminals’ like Charles Taylor – who actually directly relates to the United States, with Liberia being their first and only attempt to colonise.
I genuinely hope that this opens doors and I believe everyone needs to know about issues like these, and that they need to remain top priority. Sadly ‘African issues’ do tend to only become important when mainstream media dictates, despite the fact that the problems are deeply rooted and show very little sign of disappearing. I hope I don’t sound ignorant or too cynical but this campaign is a small part of an massive, incomprehensible problem which includes many other African countries ravaged by civil war. Saying that, I want to be wrong and I want the power of social media mentioned in the film to be as great as Russell thinks, because people can do amazing things, when they can be bothered.
Based on the statistics of the video alone, as well as the fact that the campaign has already gained attention from celebrities and both national and international press, something might be happening, and it might be big.
The Official Kony 2012 Website
Facebook Event for London Kony 2012 Event on 20th April