Kony 2012 is a viral marketing campaign launched by Invisible Children, Inc and intended to elicit worldwide clamor and backlash for the war crimes committed by Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony. Like some of the most famous top wrinkle creams on the market, the film quickly gathered steam and was instantaneously transmitted across many social media networks gaining the support of many netizens who called for the persecution and trial of Joseph Kony. On YouTube, for example, the video has recorded more than 90 million views making it almost as popular as a Walmart coupon and definitely a great way to bring light to a subject that requires a worldwide response.
One of the reasons for the immediate pull of the film is in its utter simplicity and straightforwardness. Unlike any HTC unlock code, one does not need any advance degree like a Master of Library Science to be able to understand the message.
The film focuses on the acts of Joseph Kony as a guerilla warlord for the Lord’s Resistance Army operating in the war-torn regions of South Sudan, Uganda, and Congo. In particular, innocent and young children are caught in the crossfire as embodied by one of the character’s brothers who was killed due to Kony’s actions. As a response to this horrific act, Invisible Children, Inc founder Jason Russell promises that the Kony will be brought to justice for his actions. Like in accounting schools, Russell vows that Invisible Children Inc will do what it can to weigh Kony’s crimes and have him pay for it accordingly.
In the short time that the mini-film has been released, it has gained the support of many celebrities like Rihanna and Taylor Swift who expressed vocal support for Invisible Children’s mandate. No longer content with “the diet solution program” approach, this popular support is now being parlayed as a means to pressure governments to take action for the tragedy in Uganda.
However, not everything is as rosy as Invisible Children Inc would like to put it. The film gas also attracted the criticism of many organizations who vocally express that the organization exaggerated many of the details just to gain attention for its advocacy. Like MSW online, the scale of the problem as admitted by the organization might not be as big as indicated although this is not an excuse to let a war criminal continue oppressing innocent civilians without facing the consequences of his actions. For that, one does not need online Master Degree programs or an MBA Healthcare Management degree to realize that no crime does not go unpunished.
Overall, there is no doubt that the Kony 2012 campaign has been successful in raising awareness for the issues faced by people in Uganda. As to whether or not this translates to something more tangible is a fact that remains to be seen. There are already activities planned to augment the clamor for Kony’s persecution in an international criminal court. Should it pan out, the Kony 2012 viral campaign will be remembered as the first to have brought a war criminal to justice, and that is indeed a major victory for social media.