Monday, 12 March 2012

Q&A: Does #Kony2012 do more harm than good?

Filed under: Africa files,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 15:08 PDT

On Thursday March 8, internet users around the globe woke up to a rebel African leader named Joseph Kony pasted across their facebook walls, tilting the trends on Twitter and kicking up a virtual activist storm over an issue few had ever heard of: The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the strife of children in the jungles straddling east and central Africa.

Within hours, the online world was seemingly fit to burst at the seams with righteous indignation over Kony and his alleged war crimes, with users beating the war drums over the possibility of social media ushering in an international movement to bring Kony to justice.

The social media soiree and the fact that the campaign has brought attention to an otherwise obscure topic nothwithstanding, the organisation behind the campaign group “Invisible Children”, co-founded by Jason Russell, has since drawn severe criticism over the financial and ethical underpinning of its ambitions.

Al Jazeera’s Azad Essa spoke to Firoze Manji, the editor of Pambazuka News, a pan-African online news magazine, about the intrinsic value of the #Kony campaign exploding across the internet – and why it has drawn such scathing criticism.

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1 Comment
  1. Editor’s note: please also see this opinion piece, “Dangerous ignorance: The hysteria of Kony 2012″ by Adam Branch, who says:

    “My frustration with the group has largely reflected the concerns expressed so convincingly by those online critics who have been willing to bring the fury of Invisible Children’s true believers down upon themselves in order to point out what is wrong with this group’s approach: the warmongering, the narcissism, the commercialisation, the reductive and one-sided story they tell, their portrayal of Africans as helpless children in need of rescue by white Americans.

    As a result of Invisible Children’s irresponsible advocacy, civilians in Uganda and central Africa may have to pay a steep price in their own lives so that a lot of young Americans can feel good about themselves, and a few can make good money. This, of course, is sickening, and I think that Kony 2012 is a case of Invisible Children having finally gone too far. They are now facing a backlash from people of conscience who refuse to abandon their capacity to think for themselves.” …. full story at http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/201231284336601364.html

    Comment by Editor — Monday, 12 March 2012 @ 19:17 PDT

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