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Was Kony2012 a Flop?

The release of the Kony 2012 video is one of the hallmarks of viral advertising in 2012 and yet there are those who would like to continue asking if the Kony2012 was a flop. For starters, it was quickly realized that Kony 2012 was a slightly exaggerated account of the events in Uganda. But in the same way, the events following the release of Kony 2012 warrants a deeper examination in order to determine whether it was a flop or not.

So much like what is taught in the top engineering schools when trying to come up with a fact-based answer to any question, let’s look at the circumstances surrounding the Kony 2012 vide.

The Kony 2012 video was first released in March 5, 2012 and was soon spreading like wildfire across social media platforms. Within a very short period of time, more people were talking about Kony 2012 than there were about the merits of free e cigarette. People who had no prior knowledge of the atrocities committed against the people of Uganda by military warlords like Joseph Kony were suddenly clamoring for action against him. The creators of the video undoubtedly rode it like a minibus hire in order to forward their agenda or rousing anger against Kony and sympathy for the victims in Uganda.

More to the point, the video was in itself an indictment of the actions taken by the West against the atrocities in Africa. Thus far, the US has taken a limited stance in trying to bring all of Africa’s dictators to justice. To this day, many Africans remain isolated from basic rights like eMBA or online MBAs that don’t require GMAT. Their site made it clear that while action is being done, it remains largely insufficient. On these fronts, it is hard to see how the Kony 2012 video can be a flop.

Conversely, the wave of criticism against the Kony 2012 video highlighted where it was severely biased and shortsighted. There were serious allegations that organizations including those who made the Kony2012 video were blatantly manipulating “facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders.” Many claimed that there were no accompanying substantiations to the crimes Kony has supposedly committed. At its most basic, many independent observers of the affairs surrounding Uganda and Africa in general argue that there is an oversimplication of the events in the region. Like family nurse practitioner programs, the video was at best a reflection of a slice of reality, and not like a comprehensive drug rehab routine that seeks to ferret out all the underlying issues.

So which one is it really? Is Kony2012 a flop or a masterful manipulation of social media and public empathy for people to begin talking about the issues in Uganda and Africa in general? The truth is that it can be argued any ways depending on the perspective that one takes. The important thing is that the Kony 2012 video gave the world a template for how to be successful at viral advertising but at the same time how to take it seriously so as not to misrepresent the facts. For this, the Kony2012 video will always remain as a memorable hallmark of 21st century information campaign and will be remembered for its implications, lest it will be forgotten for its contents.

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