Kony 2012: Compassion or controversy?
Almost everyone has been the recipient of a 'viral' video or image. However, the Kony 2012 video was unusual because it was not a funny, diverting 'meme' involving cute pets, funny children, or even Hillary Clinton wearing sunglasses. Instead, it chronicled the abuses of "Joseph Kony, a notorious warlord from Uganda who trained and abused children as soldiers" (Rash 2012). The 30-minute film, originally posted on YouTube and Vimeo "has now circled the world many times over - a call to action to people everywhere to raise their voices against a little-known Ugandan leader named Joseph Kony. Joseph Kony, who, for 45 years, has been killing and raping and maiming, often with children as the targets" (Dovan 2012) Users of Facebook reported that it was almost impossible to log in without seeing a new repost of the video from one of their online friends.
Few objective members of the international community question that the dictator the video is about has perpetuated terrible injustices upon the children of Uganda, and many Kony opponents welcomed the additional exposure this video garnered for the anti-Kony cause. However, it has been revealed that the not-for-profit organization that produced the video used only a "small percentage of their revenue" to "direct services benefitting Uganda" and most of it was diverted to simply promoting more 'awareness raising' videos, which, critics contended, simply bolstered the reputation of the