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Week14 - Essay Example

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There is no doubt that the release of “Kony 2012”-a super-viral campaign film that now counts over 100 million views online, did bring to the fore the gravity of the brutal tactics perpetrated by Joseph Kony’s and his deadly lead militant group, The Lord’s Resistance…
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Due The Possibility of Fighting War Crimes without Leaving the Couch There is no doubt that the release of “Kony 2012”-a super-viral campaign film that now counts over 100 million views online, did bring to the fore the gravity of the brutal tactics perpetrated by Joseph Kony’s and his deadly lead militant group, The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) culminating in thousands of deaths and abductions. Armed with noble causes ingrained with a powerful, touching message, the Invisible Children’s clever use of the social media has enabled one of the most explosive internet support ever witnessed in history, with the International Criminal Court (ICC), Human Right Watch, The White House, among other powerful human rights organizations as well as high profile celebrities such as Winfrey Oprah, Bill Gates and Justin Bieber coming on board (Goodman and Preston par 6).
While everyone seems to be in agreement that Kony’s story is both horrific and tragic, a critical evaluation of the film’s oversimplified narrative coupled with the misinterpretation of facts reveals a false sense of what it takes to make a difference in a certainly complex situation. A conditional effectiveness of a social media campaign rests upon one fundamental principle: building a real-life/off-line political community capable and committed to a common cause. Contrary to the notion created on this particular case of the Invisible Children’s KONY2012 campaign, and elsewhere as was the case with the Arab spring, the reality is that Invisible Children worked for nearly a decade to build a willingly enthusiastic network of like-minded folks capable of driving across the United States to showcase its latest films to real people in schools and churches. Similarly, effectiveness and the subsequent success of human rights and democracy campaigners in the Arab world (Tunisia, Egypt and Libya among others) had long learned and been hardened by decades of training in human rights and civil disobedience experiences. The protests witnessed at the Tahrir Square in Cairo, for instance, gained root not due to the Tweeter or Facebook influence, but were driven by real grievances by real people with scars of years of outright humiliation (Kersten par 4-7). The Facebook Sharing and Tweeter re-tweeting of the KONY2012 was only a symbolic action done exclusively by non-activists with a minimal effect nearing zero. Simply put, war crimes cannot be fought at the comfort of somebody’s bedroom either sleeping or sited with IPads or IPhones as proof of his/her commitment to the liberal democratic values while real issues remain hanging untouched.
Work cited
Goodman, David and Preston, Jennifer. How the Kony Video Went Viral. New York Times 9
Mar. 2012. Web. 30 November 30, 2012.
Kersten, Mark. Has Social Media Successfully Reinvented Social Activism? Justice in Conflict
2 June 2012. Web. 30 November 30, 2012.
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