prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

The Beginning of the End for Joseph Kony

Posted by prof e on March 7, 2012

If you’ve ever wanted to see an internet meme take off…here’s your chance. If you’ve ever wanted to get on the ground floor of a global movement that has great potential to do good…here’s your chance. If you’ve ever wanted to see what it takes to harness social media to motivate millions of people to get up off the couch and take action…here’s your chance.

A friend of mine posted a link to this video in facebook yesterday (March 6th) around noon MST. When I started to watch the video I had no idea that it was 30-minutes long…but I was quickly caught up in the story of a madman doing terrible things to children in the interior of Africa. Thirty minutes later I knew several things: 1) this filmmaker knew how to use video effectively to tell a story, and 2) the story was one that would compel anyone who watched to care about this terrible situation. If you read just a few of the many comments on the Vimeo page you’ll see people who have been genuinely moved to action.

I shared the link on fb and twitter and began to see others doing the same. When I watched the video yesterday, it had been viewed by several hundred thousand people. As I write this on the morning of March 7th it has been viewed 5.3 million times! I’ve never seen something take off this quickly. This is big folks, and is only going to get bigger. A couple of days ago the number of people who knew about Kony was a fraction of those who recognize the names Kobe or Kim Kardashian…but that will change. And that is a good thing.

March 8 Update: As promised, here are links to a critique of Koni2012 and Invisible Children’s rebuttal. Remember, as traditional mass media editors and gatekeepers become less important, individual media consumers must become adept at evaluating media messages using a full-range of critical thinking skills. The challenge is to become a critical thinker without becoming overly cynical.

33 Responses to “The Beginning of the End for Joseph Kony”

  1. Brian Williams said

    I’ve been following this story since October of last year in conjunction with the Arab Spring revolution and the Rise of OWS in the U.S., which were indeed greatly enabled via social media: however, theme films were only produced after these movements took-off organically. This particular film makes me suspicious. I don’t believe the “viral explosion” for this film is authentic. Here’s why:

    I first read about and mentioned the fact that Obama had sent 100 elite special forces operatives to Africa in Oct., 2011 on this very blog when commenting on Dr. E’s OWS topic. The troop deployment coincided with an oil discovery made inaccessible due to Joseph Kony’s interference. I’d like to say that I’m amazed more American’s haven’t learned about this situation with Joseph Kony until now, but I’d be lying. images of terrorized children might do the trick. Let’s cross our fingers.

    The truth is that our government’s interest in Kony’s atrocities has very little to do with the vile abuse and recruitment of children to serve in his tyrannical military, but it is rather about the fact that recently a fairly small but valuable oil field was found in the territory that he controls. Yup, that’s right, our soldiers are their to kill Kony and CLEAR THE WAY FOR OIL DRILLERS, not save children. Our government is and always has been well aware of many such tragedies occurring all throughout the globe, especially in Africa, and rarely takes a significant interest for mainly financial reasons: .1) there’s often little-to-no return on investment (ROI) in purely humanitarian missions, and 2.) because, well, starving people in countries with very poor infrastructure who manage to survive starvation only grow up to produce more starving children. Sad but true.

    There just isn’t enough oil to merit a long term investment strategy in that part of Africa. And when it’s gone, do you think the U.S. or major corporations that only wish to extract it’s resources will hang around? Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.

    So this suspiciously viral video is possibly an effort to raise the funds the government is reticent to spend. The idea here seems to turn this issue into a seemingly honorable but still ordinary fundraising drive. If it is successful, perhaps the government could justify spending a bit more money on a new mini-war to tax payers. Libya and Syria, anyone?

    It is shameful that these things are wittingly allowed to happen by supposedly the most innovative and generous country on Earth, isn’t it? We’ll Americans can be generous, but their obedience to government propagand is on trial like never before with the effective use of internet.

    Interestingly, even the most minimal research would have revealed these other important fact to this story, but this video’s producer totally sidesteps key elements. Why? Well, he persuasively makes the video solely about the tragic abuse of children, which should indeed make our hearts bleed, but he’s either too naive to connect these other dots, or, he is quite intentionally omitting these important details. What are his credentials? What company does he work for? What is his long term plan to really change the lives of these children? Any smart person will question this guys motives. He’s never clear about his actual job, so viewers of this film need to be.

    So first, anyone who watches this video will be immediately captivated by the visceral emotions the imagery of mutilated children evokes. But it is absolutely important to research and understand the entire context of this story, so that if you do decide to get off your lazy butt and tackle this issue–beyond making pointless monetary donations and merely re-posting this link on twitter or FB or another blog– you can actually target your efforts in a meaningful and substantial way.

    Next, read about this story in great detail to understand why the special forces troops have all but failed to properly organize and train the opposition army to Kony. Know that violence begets more violence, and right now actually more people are being brutalized and killed as a result of Kony’s strategy to retain power. He’s winning because his army is simply bigger, and the African people unfortunately have fallen in line to his dictates, so this means that more lots more money and certainly more than 100 American soldiers are needed to effectively support opposition forces. As it stands, the “rebels” are severely poorly trained and under funded, not to mention that a whole cultural mindset shift would have to happen in order to get ordinary citizens in Africa and the U.S to fearlessly stand up to Kony. We’re now talking about BILLIONS of dollars that our government isn’t likely to spend, yet perhaps some gullible American’s would foot the bill for this endeavor. Their hearts would be in the right place of course, but there is much, much more to do in this cause. Outside of tweeting and forgoing a trip to McDonald’s, what will people only superficially informed about this issue change?

    Any good public relations campaign needs a villain or some sort of righteous cause, and Kony and the abused children of Africa are tremendous symbols worthy of our support. But Americans must pay attention to the hard facts that there is a massive Geo-Political chess game being played by all the large economies of the world. The mineral elements and fossil fuels needed to power the rampantly inefficient economies all us silly iPad consumers just love come at a price. We’re entering a time of scarcity, a downward slope if you will, and the scramble to acquire every last morsel land and resources is something on the minds of every world leader out there.

    Finally, if you want to better understand the Geo-political desperate grab for resources and increasing surge of humanitarian propaganda being spewed by news media and mysteriously popping up on the net, try this video on for size. No propaganda, just refutable facts, but you have to do some real research if you want to challenge an idea. Enjoy!

  2. cassie Crutchfield said

    I saw this story on Facebook yesterday (March 6th) as well. I think this is a great example of how powerful the mass media can be. The power and contol it has over us is usually considered to be a bad thing but in this case it is being used for good which is really inspireing. This video is very well made and compels you to become emotional about the topic and urges you to be a part of the movement to stop Kony. In just two days this video went from eight views to 2.7 million! This video along the presidential campaign inspired flyiers are making an issue that has been around for years suddenly become relevent.

  3. Alexandra Veksler said

    When I wake up in the morning, I always check my Facebook to make sure I haven’t missed anything important. This morning when I checked my account a much bigger issue caught my attention. I saw that everyone was posting something about “Kony 2012” and I had no idea what they were talking about. As I scrolled down I finally saw a link to youtube. After I watched the video I was very concerned about what had been going on. It’s terribly sad to know that even with media as advanced as it is today most people still did not know about what was happening in Africa. I am very thankful to whomever it was that started raising awareness. It is good to know that some people want to use media in positive ways and not just to sell a product or brand. In the little time that this has been going on, the awareness has grown exponentially and I think that this will help capture Kony. It amazes me how advanced media can spread so quickly and I am greatful that we have this kind of technology to keep in touch with the world and hopefully change the world for the better as well.

  4. Brian Williams said

    I disagree with Cassie, but for the sake of the kids in Africa I hope I’m wrong. This video campaign will likely flop, once people dig a bit deeper into it. The viral numbers pertaining to this video are probably to fake, but ther’s no way to verify that.

    The reason I disagree is that the biggest focus of the U.S. government right now correlates to news media’s current efforts to boost a different phony humanitarian cause that’s more important than our government than Africa’s kiddos; this propaganda centers on the coup d’etat attempt underway in Syria. The half-truth being told in mainstream media is that Syrian citizens are being slaughtered by their government, and the mantra being spouted by politicians and pundits is that the U.S. should bomb the country to help the innocent citizenry there. What is not being said in typical news outlets is that Arab and Israeli operatives are smuggling arms (disguised as aide) to insurgent forces comprised indeed of Syrian rebels who are purposely fighting in heavily populated areas, which intentionally produces a tremendous amount of collateral damage. These forces are being led by operatives, not cohesive rebels.

    The reason all of these things are happening is due to shifts in the way oil and natural gas resources are being traded in world markets. Also, The U.S. dollar might not remain the dominant currency for trading oil resources for much longer, which will collapse our entire economy much faster than is already occurring. New pipelines for natural gas as well as highways and transport systems needed to transport mineral resources to shipping ports not controlled by the U.S. are being funded and built by America’s competitors (China, Russia, India etc) who are seeking to diminish America and the EU’s stranglehold over the rest of the world. Syria is a high value target because, guess what, it’s a major sea port. The humanitarian strife in Africa is really just about a meager oil field(a tactical objective, non-strategic); the humanitarian strife in Syria is more important in terms of geo-political strategy( the big Idea and overall goal). A military campaign in Syria will likely draw Iran into the conflict and trigger who knows what type of domino effect. Thus a not so lucrative endeavor to kill a minor tyrant in Africa just to gulp up what is a rather insignificant oil reserve doesn’t make much sense to policy makers. However, whether if controlling those parts of Africa and thereby reducing China’s access to other remaining assets therein is actually part of a larger U.S strategy is anybody’s guess. Time will tell, but for now all this Joseph Kony video will do is lead passive consumers to flop open their wallets to donate some change and possibly tweet a time or two about the evil but empty symbol that is Joseph Kony.

    Remember that all of this will take huge sums of money that literally don’t exist, and the Fed and our government can only get away with printing fake digital money to wage war and prop up a defunct economy for as long as our currency remains “petro-dollar”. We lose that advantage and it’s game over.

    I have a suspicion that most of the posts regarding this topic will go something like: This video is powerful! Those poor kids! That mean ole Kony! I wonder if Gina updated her Facebook status and commented on this subject?

    I hope the iPad 3 can bake me some cookies!

  5. Steve McGee said

    Here some interesting tidbits internet researchers might want to consider when determining the motives of this filmmaker and the organization he supposedly helped found. What’s interesting to me is that the CEO and CFO of the Invisible Children organization have very sophisticated backgrounds, and more importantly, they (CEO Ben Keesey specifically) have ties to firms like JP Morgan, Deloitte and Touche and Brentwood Private Equity.

    To put it bluntly, Invisible Children seems like just a front organization for covert governmental lobbyists, possibly representing the interests of investment firms who have an obvious stake in seeing Joseph Kony removed from power, so that gaining unfettered access to the lands he holds is possible. If I were a well connected business grad, I’d put together an organization like Invisible Children comprised of talented film makers and communications strategists to organize a campaign like this against an easy to hate bad guy like Kony. Think about it. These people seemingly had easy access to politicians that a truly emergent grass roots organization just wouldn’t have. You have to have or be supported by big money power-players to get a face-to-face with big name senators and congressmen in the first place. Lobbyist got a government to intervene in this issue, which was unprecedented according to the film itself, but now you know why –oil. Will people notice these oddities in the film? Will people scrutinize this material,or, merely get wrapped up in the emotion of the message. Nope, and yup!

    It’s all a bit fishy. However well intentioned this film seems and no matter how worthy the cause, this is a lobbying scheme to get congress and the broader government to not YANK government funding and the elite operatives out of Africa. The mission was a long shot anyhow, and now these lobbyists who know funding is about to be pulled are desperately trying to get you to help them get access to that oil field in Africa. Genuinely trying to improve the lives of those children in Africa is a secondary concern here. Bummer, huh?

    I don’t think this front group (Invisible Children) will be successful because the oil reserves they’re really after, though potentially worth billions, just isn’t worth the billions the government would have to spend to wage a proper insurgency war against Kony. Unless they get lucky and track him with a predator drone and blow him to hell. But one of his lieutenants is just likely to step in and take over. We’d have to occupy the territory to truly protect the people in that sense, or, kill thousands of the same children fighting for Kony in order to be eliminate the threat, and I don’t see the political or public will for that right now. But what the hell, let’s hope they get congress to fund the mission awhile longer, eh? Billionaires always need more money and those kids do deserve a fighting chance.

    Sorry if any of you were duped by this truly heart wrenching but phony lobbying campaign. Feel free to go to McDonald’s after all.

  6. Emily Nicolopoulos said

    I saw this video yesterday all over face book, instagram, and twitter. I have heard of the Invisible children before in high school but never Kony. This video is truly a great example of how powerful mass media really is; though I know sometimes we don’t like it, this is actually a very positive way to get people now a days to really listen. This video just came onto the internet about two days ago and already everyone has either watched the video or already has gotten involved. I watched the video this afternoon with my friend and it really shook me up. The video is very well made and gets you very emotional about this topic and really urges you to stop Kony and actually make a difference.

  7. Aaron 130 Gonzales said

    If you want to get the emotional side of men and women to come out, this is how you do it. Not many things in all aspects of life can usually get me to feel as impacted emotionally as this video did (besides Titanic). I’ve heard plenty about the Invisible Children, but never in this way. Media has a way of catching attention to certain audiences for certain reasons but I feel as though for the first time, the media has effectively attracted the world as its audience. I also feel that this is the first time media isn’t focused on advertisements or material objects but a far more important aspect. Kony 2012!

  8. Cierra Webb said

    I find this video helpful in regards to the cause of the children in Africa. My sister went to Uganda as part of a missions trip/college soccer opportunity to play with their national team. As part of their missions trip, her and her soccer team worked with the Invisible Children program to help these children escape from one village to the next under some “adult supervision”. It was an eye opening experience for her and she was shocked that not many people knew about the program or that these kidnappings even happened to begin with. If anything, this video is at least giving the Invisible Children program, along with the TRI program more media attention. With the help of the media attention, donations and volunteers will be more readily available. If the government/military can’t fully stop Kony altogether, there are at least ways in which we can bring more hope and comfort to those affected by Kony’s reign.

  9. Kelsey Brown said

    I first heard about this story in class on March 6th, I followed up by reading this blog post after class but didn’t watch the video because it wouldn’t show up on the computer. I got the chance to watch the video today after being reminded about the issue while on Facebook. I’m not proud to say that for as long as this issue has been around, I’m just now hearing about it. Watching the video mad me mad when U.S. politicians first turned down the proposal to take action against Kony but after watching the whole entire movie, I was proud to see how many people actually want this change to happen. All it takes is for people to care enough to unite against wrong doing for even a hope of change to come about. It’s amazing to witness something like this happen and I’m more than excited to start getting involved in the movement to make Kony famous and stop his horrible crimes involving Africa’s youth!

  10. AJ Rodriguez said

    There is some outright fraud being committed here with this video and the spammed view numbers. Invisible Children is admittedly a lobbying group with undisclosed, high profile private firms behind it. Do your due diligence before you jump on the bandwagon, sheeple!

  11. Marki Cook said

    Kony 12 is preparing to sweep America more than it already has. This video was exquisite. It blows my mind that with technology today we are able to do powerful things. An event happening in another country is brought to our attention by a video. Communication has reached new amazing levels. My views on the Kony 12 campaign are this; I think it is an amazing thing, I think it has shown America that even though you aren’t rich and famous what you say matters. It shows that people do have a purpose and we can all help. It shows that even though American politics can be cut throat and corrupt, there are still good people out there who are willing to listen. There is one thing about this though that is unsettling to me. America will go to great extents to help save another country from the terrible ways of the world yet are not doing anything to help America itself better. I understand that Kony is a power man who is taking the lives of many. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to help America first. I am all for helping people, I even plan on participating in Kony 12 I just feel heavy hearted due to the fact that young American children are suffering too! What are we going to do to help them?

  12. Shelby Moore said

    First off, I would just love to say that I think it’s hilarious when people write huge arguments against supporting a cause. For myself, I believe that the sudden explosion of views on YouTube and posts on Facebook may make a noise just loud enough to move people to do something about it. I don’t care if someone may think this could be just a way to raise money. I believe this can be something to make people aware. Not all people in society pick up a newspaper every day or are interested in watching the local news. Facebook and surfing the web is one of the more recent crazes that many people like to waste their time logged on to. The message isn’t saying, “Give us your money! We need it now!” No, they want to spread the word and show the world that even though there are forces above us that are far more superior to what we will ever become, we can still either make a difference or be aware and make it known to the rest of the world.

    Now since I’m done with that rant, I’ll continue to why I decided to comment on this in the first place.

    This movement is HUGE. I think back to all the natural disasters and genocides that have happened in my lifetime so far. I watched this short film and realized that Kony has been doing this without punishment longer than I have been alive! Being a citizen in the United States, I have seen personally how much of a panic it was after 9/11 and how quick our armed forces were to act upon it. I understand that we need all the help we can get to end our problems here in the States. However, I feel like our country could really build up our karma and in turn, we could receive help from allies to end our war on terror.

    Although we realize that all the time we spend on the internet, watching the television, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper is time consuming, we also stumble upon things that are important issues to our world. On my own personal Facebook page, I have family and friends who are under the age of ten and THEY reposted the video for the world to see. Children wanting to make a difference and wanting the blind to see. Media is becoming more advanced by each passing day and there will always be something new to waste our time on. But the main factor in all this is that many important things can be reached to people around the world with simply a click of a mouse. This viral video has caused an uproar of people to either think or act on this issue. The power of reaching to the media and the power of words has made a huge impact already.

    I think if we took a step back from maintaining our Farmville or reading about Kim Kardashians new prince boyfriend and really researched things with our resources, the people of the world will soon be informed about all the important issues around us. The internet is basically the new version of a newspaper. The only difference is that it is sent to you basically free of charge and offers endless reading materials. We the people are the ones who can control what we see or read and what we wish to do with given information.

  13. Shelby Moore said

    And for all those heartless people who just think this is a scam or whatnot, then you must not have a soul. I honestly don’t care if this is just made to seem worse than it really is, at least it is giving the world some emotion! We’re so desensitized to many things we see on a daily basis. Sure, this video was primarily all emotion and not enough substance. But if you do your homework you will see that people are suffering and you are sitting your butt in front of a computer screen and or iPad/Tablet telling people not to jump the bandwagon when children are being captured and turned into sex slaves and forced to form a child militia. I’m sure these people appreciate all the support they are getting and if y’all don’t like it, then I’d personally keep my feelings to myself. Because as of now, there are over 15 million supporters on YouTube alone. And I’m sure most of them would love to make an argument with you.

  14. Shelby Moore said

    Correction, 15 million views. But still, watching it is basically supporting it!

  15. melissa said

    I finally took time out of my busy day of nonsense and watch this video, and I regret it took me so long. The horrific crimes against women and children in Africa is not news to me, I have been concerned about for years now. The problem was i never ran across anyone who knew about it let alone have a discussion with about it. It’s so awesome to see light like this being shed on it, its just sad it took this long. I admit I always thought “what could I do?” But now after this video i hope it opens up everyones eyes to just how strong our voices can be. This is such a great example of how we can use the media of today to make a difference. The government will always be guided by money and power so its up to us as citizens of this world to do all we can to make wrongs right… This is an exciting movement to be apart of.

  16. Troy Fields said

    This video made me feel so sad for the kids in Africa that are being kidnapped by the rebel group. I feel that this video can only do good by the more people that view it and the more attention it is getting. I was shocked that nobody had stopped these terrible acts that this rebel leader forced these kids to do. Normally when problems like this comes up it feels like one person can do little to stop things such as this but if many people get into it then I feel like eventually someone will notice this and hopefully put a stop to it. I am glad that the Barack Obama administration did something to try to capture Joseph Kony but they need to continue to pressure him and not give up on this effort.

  17. Sheree said

    It is challenging to watch this video and not become emotional. But even looking at it from a more analytical point of view, it is still touching. I believe that this world that we live in is losing its boundaries. We are not only American’s, rather people. We look out for each other regardless of where we come from. Without social media, genocides, mutilation, and other serious crimes would go unnoticed by countries where the acts were not taking place. This movement has already hit CSU-P in a powerful way. We discussed the issue in a Student Government meeting today and have already established committees to raise funds for and awareness about this cause. Media is powerful. Through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, the world is teaming together to once and for all take a stand against injustice. We can all be activists for social change…and the media is just one more way that we can unite. Whether a person agrees with the video, is emotionally untouched or not- I think we can all agree on the fact that the media is extremely influential and inspires people to not just sit there and be entertained, but act.

  18. Brian W. said

    Shelby, first off, none of the posts prior to yours are “against supporting this cause.” The “hilarious” huge arguments to which you refer are cautionary posts to readers who should do the work and try and learn more about the issue and the possible underlying motives of the group pushing this campaign forward to the U.S. Congress. There is no legitimate plan in place to help these kids — it’s about removing a dictator so private interests can move into a part of Africa not yet contested by the Chinese so that just a different set of bloodsuckers can bleed the people there dry. Got it?

    If you really understood this issue as opposed to only having been spoon fed the information via a highly emotionally charged and vaguely informative video, you might be able to take real action to help those kids in Africa.

    As it is, you know now only enough to buy a Kony 2012 t-shirt, sport a stupid ribbon, and maybe put a bumper sticker on your car. And I’m positive most of the other vacuous airheads who claim to support this cause won’t even do half that. Be real.

    What action really means to serving these children requires understanding the broader context of this issue, based on as much detailed information as you can find, to ascertain just exactly what a reasonable plan to help these kids entails.

    Say Kony is captured (hopefully killed) then what?

    What type of infrastructure is in place to support civilians (kids) in the aftermath?

    What lingering threats could potentially remain?

    Where would the money to support ANY of these efforts come from?

    Anyhow, one thing I can tell from your post is that you are very familiar with Farmville on Facebook — I don’t use FB.
    I can tell that you know all about Kim Kardashian’s new boyfriend — I didn’t even know she had a former.
    i can tell that you don’t know that Invisible Children is an agenda setting lobby organization for private investors, who really want access to the oil reserve found in Kony’s territory, whereas I figured some of this sordid detail out in 30 minutes of research after I saw the video. Of course, some of these suspicions are speculative, but this is part of the critical thinking process. A process and journey not you nor any other responder who made a post similar to yours have embarked upon — and probably never will. And by the way. . .

    Watching a 30-minute tear jerker doesn’t facilitate critical thinking — only reactionary thinking. That’s the point of this film.

    I’ve paid attention to this issue since October of last year. I’m also familiar with Rwanda — have you ever heard of it?

    If you were really being taught in college how to pay attention to the world around you, then you could instantly see how this Kony issue connects to many, many other heart sickening tragedies occuring all around you. Hell, it’s not your fault though. Even the older adults in your life (parents, college professors) likely have no clue about these issues with any depth, so you don’t have to feel alone or ashamed for being so oblivious to the future you face.

    I sincerely wish you all the best luck. And don’t forget to wear your t-shirt — it’s cold outside.

  19. Leon Sheeley said

    I do not know what to think of this Kony character, but I do know that this video is going world wide and as a media frenzy my question is this. Why has it taken so long for us to start posting or caring now? I mean really if this fight has gone on for some time now then why not now? Facebook and Twitter have been around for how long? And for me to be on Facebook every single day almost constantly and he wants us to catch him before the video expires the last day of 2012. I know that in other captures, Osama Bin Laden, we saw it everyday in the news and media sites every single day since 9/11!

    I am all for justice but not in just a matter of just 9 months time and I do believe that what he is doing to kids is wrong so when it hit on my facebook page I did share the video, but as a mass communications major I love seeing how fast something in the media can grow and how many people will view this YouTube video can grow from someone that can truly work a camera and have access to things in his reach to reach the already 5.3 million viewers he already has.

  20. Jennifer Hackett said

    This video is definitely an example of how crazy fast things get spread around from the media and how big of an impact the media has on society. People are moved by touching stories and when celebrities or well known names are involved more people tend to get involved as well. Someone who did lots of movies and I’m sure knew how much impact the media has on subjects, I don’t understand why something wasn’t said sooner or has been broadcasted sooner. This was the first I have ever heard of Kony. It makes me feel good that all these people are willing to help others and truly care because I dislike hearing peolpe say thinks like that’s not our country so not our problem. It’s definitely disheartening because we would never tolerate something like that in the U.S. and would do everything in our power to stop it. I am still in shock over this video and it really does make you want to get up and do something moving. When something needs to be heard, the media will never let you down because word spreads fast and he knew just how to spread the word.

  21. kginter5 said

    I have never seen anything take off like this has over facebook it is almost ridiculous. Granted it is all for good but I feel people are posting about it to feel good about themselves like they are contributing and they want to seem like good people and that they care but the truth is this has been going on for a while now and no one has recognized it or very few have. literally almost every post on my news feed has something to do with Kony and in some ways it is pretty annoying. Don’t care because everyone else is, care because you truly mean it.

  22. Something that I have noticed with this Kony movement, after a friend of mine on Facebook bought a bracelet and a few videos were posted, was how quick everyone was to judge one other for not knowing about this before. I can say that I have heard of the invisible children but not in the context it has become with this video. Most boys I know brag about how they have “followed” Kony for the past ten years and think it’s dumb that people are joining the “movement” so late. I however feel that it is fantastic how a video can bring so many followers to join something as great as helping children in other countries; even if it is just a new bandwagon to join. Isn’t that the way something moves? Especially in America where most people are too lazy to keep up with their own friends unless there is an application for it on your phone? I understand where someone who is open minded would think that the world should care more at all times, but in the year 2012 were getting drunk or high is on most 17-23 year olds minds, were the news media only publishes what it wants you to know, it only takes a spark to start the fire of the people who need to know issues like this.

  23. Shelby Moore said

    Attention Brain Williams: I’m not going to argue with you past this post, but I would just like to say that you are HILARIOUS! And if you can’t tell I’m being completely sarcastic. I was moved but not as much as you probably think I would have been. No tears were “jerked” but if you knew me, you would know that I have done quite a bit of research. I think it’s really funny that you decide to come back on to the prof. e. blog and argue with people. And the only reason why I came back was to see if there was any other blog posts I could comment on to get a good grade in my class.

    On an entirely separate note, if you are in fact the guy my Professor warned us about, then I’m really “laughing my a** off” (pardon the language). Because if you are, it’s really funny to think that you change your name on various posts to relate to the topic on hand. Why not tell us who you really are instead of hiding behind a shawl. For all I know you could be Joseph Kony himself! Although that’s probably not even the case. Why would you honestly spend your time on here trying to make arguments with college students? The fact that you try and bring me down basically telling me that I am uninformed and basically a uneducated college student is quite childish. But you know what? I don’t mind it! I’m in school trying to learn new things and get ahead in life. So Mr. NBC newscaster Brian Williams, why waste your time on here? Aren’t you basically famous? BAHAHA!

    Any who, just to sum my last statement up…
    1) Yes I’ve heard of Rwanda
    2) Yes I get your whole “argument”
    3) Who cares if you’ve been following this since October. Maybe you should have done something instead of sitting on your butt in front of prof. e. blog trying to cause arguments?
    4) I’m not very in tune with Kim’s new boyfriend or Farmville but I am submerged into all these things when I hang out with friends or grocery shopping when I glance at tabloid covers. Do you ever even leave your home? Seems to me like you are pretty confined to your “space”
    5) I honestly don’t care what you have to say to make people change their minds on this topic. All we know is that there is an issue.

    No I probably won’t get the kit or send money to them because I am like you, I don’t like giving money out unless I know where it’s going. It’s like giving money to a bum, either they will use it for food or buy drugs and or alcohol. And maybe they have good jobs but this is their side job? And so I’ll stick to my boots and winter jacket. Because in Colorado, it’s cold outside still. A t shirt would just be pointless. But hey, thanks for thinking about my health in this weather. You sound like my mother. I’m just so proud to say I could have this nice little chat with you. Have fun on prof. e. blog! He’s always got new stories for ya!

  24. Brian Dubya said


    I truly am appreciative of the fact that you were “inspired” by the video, but you said it yourself — you will probably do nothing, like most of the millions of viewers for this vid. You’ve contradicted yourself on so many levels, there’s little reason for me to respond, but you are right that I am a 750 lb cheeseburger lovin’ loser who never leaves his computer and only wants to “argue” with students. Can’t I be faceitious too?

    Beyond anything, my own remarks are designed to further this discussion, not merely make some innocuous and irrelevant comment in order to kiss a professors @55 and weasel my way to a few measily extra credit points and a better grade. It’s a good strategy by the way, many mediocre students boost their grades this way, so I won’t knock it ;o)

    I am a student as well and am increasingly perplexed by the astonishly important issues kids your age and folks your professors age are completely uniformed about, despite the fact that we have these amazing technologies at our fingertips. If you bothered to consider the video I offered in another post, and really took the time to ponder the ideas, you likely would have been far more affected and concerned for the future of all children, especially your own potential famly, assuming you are capable of responsibly planning such things.

    You are correct to assume that for me it is a tremendous source of angst, the ever saddening state of our country and the tumult of the larger world — we all struggle to cope in our own ways. However, I am FAR ahead of the curve when it comes to being able to parse these subjects, yet very intentionally avoid direct personal recognition. I’m not interested in fame nor extra credit, and you’ve astutely caught on to the intentionally antagonistic tone of my comments. You were “warned” because it takes a thick skin to read what I have to say, as I am perhaps too passionate about these things.

    But at anytime, if my remarks are unwelcomed on this blog, they can be instantly deleted. And because in the past I have forwarded topics to your professor that have spoken to our mutaul interest, they’ve been presented here.

    I’ve been knocked into line a few times, and would only have to be told once to leave and never return, as he (prof E) knows me in person and has (had) my contact info. I am in fact a lonely old troll as you suspect, though I prefer the term ogre, and I enjoy this blog because I actually am concerned about how kids like you are dissecting these very important topics.

    The role I play enables me to say the things your teachers likely think about their students but cannot say for obvious reasons. The double-edged sword is that they get put on blast now and again too. It only seems fair, and I am more than open to having my thoughts criticised. Us ogres have thick skin by birth.

    Sincerely, good luck to you

  25. RavynTanner said

    I was told about this Kony 2012 video by my bestfriend. I had seen a few things here and there that said “Kony 2012”, but I was sure what it was. Then I went to and watched the 30 minute video clip. It was nothing like I expected it to be. For people to put together something like this is remarkable, they are standing behind what the believe in. It wasn’t too shocking when the U.S government really wasn’t concerned about something like this, until it started becoming a big deal. This is such a good thing to become a part of, and the media was has done it’s job by spreading the word about the Kony 2012 act. I actually donated money to Invisible Children. It’s crazy to think that if this happened in America, it would be stopped immediatley, but since it’s gone unnoticed. Definetly will do all that I can to help Kony 2012.

  26. Bree Williams said

    Nice film

  27. Leah Fields said

    Straight from the mouth of a young person, of Ugandan descent, whose parents actually trained her to think!

  28. Bou Amaya said

    The Kony 2012 video is indeed very intriguing. Two weeks ago, any time I would log onto Facebook or Twitter, I was seeing someone new post about Kony. I didn’t really research it or anything but I clearly understood it was something big. Finally, I watched the video last week. The message being delivered was definitely eye opening. The man who made this video definitely knew what he was doing. He was able to deliver his message in a positive manner and reach the hearts of many, especially those with or who are close to children. The idea to make Kony famous is already in effect. I just checked and the video has been viewed over 74 million times!! Not only that, but people are posting about him in blogs, on Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media sites. I have also seen several events on Facebook of people who are going to take action on April 20, to cover the streets in order to help make more people aware of who Joseph Kony is and what he is doing. This single phenomenon is complete evidence of how much of an impact mass media has on our society today.

  29. Gregory Rice said

    I have been volunteering for Invisible Children (which is a Christian non-profit organization) since freshman year of high school, so this is nothing new to me. Now the fact that it has come under criticism from folks like “Brian” is obsered to me. This has nothing to do with the recent campaign or oil. Being born in San Diego I know these guys and have been to church with these guys. Joseph Kony is a bad man, who abducts children in the middle of the night from their homes and family’s and makes them fight in his army. It is a fact that the LRA or Lord’s Resistance Army is 90% abducted children. In 2008 I was a part of a mass organized demonstration where everywhere across America, volunteers like me camped out in local places to raise awareness for this cause. In my case it was the Orange County Fairgrounds. This cause was advocated by my church and everyone else who volunteered with me was Christian. We declared that we would stay camped until a media mogul or news station came and heard what we had to say. Also in my case it was the band Paramore. By doing this we got Joseph to come out of hiding and sign something that stated he would stop night trafficking in Uganda. So from this experience I learned that Invisible Children has only the interest of the people of Uganda and there freedom from the longest war in the history of Africa. They are calling for action to rescue this people who need help desperately.

  30. Desarey B. said

    It is heard to pick a side when it comes to this type of controversy, you want to believe that this is really a cause worth fighting for, that there are really children being torn from their families to be turned in to an army of killers, you want to reach out a helping hand, donate money do what ever you can to ensure that this doesn’t happen, Americans always want to be the big brother and sister to every other nation, sometimes it back fires on us and puts us into all kinds of problems that we don’t need to be in such as this. This event if it is happening, should be handled properly within it’s own nation we can’t just go over there and expect them to listen to us when, Kony has been taking children for so long, that us interfering even a little bit is going to cause some form of war. I believe that we must investigate everything you read and make opinions for yourself, this may be something that was made up just for publication and the producer could be making loads of money off of the efforts of Americans to try to help, and it’s because they wouldn’t take the time to read.

  31. Sam Haseltine said

    I believe that the kony video is very controversial. I believe that there are a lot of bad occurences of child kidnapping and genocide in parts of Africa, but I believe it is a bigger issue than just one person. There is also a lot of controversy over the man running the invisible children foundation. He was recently arrested for public indecency after the video had gone viral. I believe that Joseph Kony neeeds to be made known by the world by what he has done and what he continues to do, but by making him famous he becomes aware that we know the type of crimes he is committing and therefore he will make that much more of an effort to avoid American capture. Yes by making what he does known by America has allowed for the president to send over troups to help out the situation, but has still allowed kony to gain knowledge of the fact that he is now under attack. This campaign may also be questionable when it comes to where exactly the money has been going. People woud like to believe that it is going towards the right cause but again that is the more skeptical part of the whole operation.

  32. Caitlyn Hollifield said

    Before watching the video I didn’t really know what Kony 2012 was. Now I do and am glad to join the movement to stop Kony and the LRA. This movie was very touching and emotional. I hope that our policy makers see how much we care about this and that they help to change what is going on. I hope that this event will help unite the world and fight against other harmful leaders across the world. Instead of a World War 3, let there be a Peace War 1.

  33. Sasha Klepitskaya said

    April 20th has come and gone, and the night of covering the country with ‘Kony’ advertisements was seemingly successful. Even our college campus has an organized group in an attempt to be part of this global phenomenon. I was extremely curious to see the effects that plastering the country with ads would have, and if this type of media really had the potential to stop the world most wanted man. The idea that simply opening the window to people who are unaware, and doing this in a huge scale, is enough to raise awareness and bring us together to fight against the villain is wonderful I think. It goes to show the power which the media has on places where its very relevant, and places even more secluded, like where Joseph Kony resides. The true undeniable power of media becomes evident in this case, and I’m so thrilled to see people using this type of mass media for a positive outcome. This just goes to show that videos which go viral on YouTube are powerful little things; having the ability to start a united nationwide fight against a criminal. Unfortunately, I was hoping to see more of a dramatic change following the ngiht of plastering advertisements and information about Joseph Kony. So far, there has been minimal action being done to bring Kony to justice. Maybe a follow up video is to come and stir up more ideas, and hopefully, action.

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