By Sam Rawson
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or any other form of social media, than the chances are you’ve already heard about the Kony 2012 viral campaign that launched earlier this week. In less than 24 hours, the 29 minute documentary, produced by the non-profit organisation Invisible Children, received more than one hundred thousand views on Youtube. When I last checked, this number had already grown to over 52 million! To put it in perspective, that’s more than the entire population of South Africa.
The video documents the atrocities committed against civilians by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, focusing mainly on the brutal abduction of children to be used as sex slaves and child soldiers. (The LRA was formed in Uganda in 1987 and has been active in Uganda, the DRC, the Central African Republic and South Sudan). It encourages people to ‘make Kony famous’ by taking part in a worldwide guerrilla marketing campaign, complete with posters, stickers, and garden signs. The overarching message: if everyone knows about him, the chances of him being ‘stopped’ are greater. (What exactly they mean by ‘stopped’ is never fully addressed.)