Berkman Center for Internet & Society
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RB 195: Can 100 Million Viewers Save a Child?

The #Kony2012 video, and accompanying campaign and meme, has done a lot to raise awareness. Of WHAT exactly, it’s hard to tell. The intended target for attention — the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony — is certainly a big one. But the video was flawed. In favor of simplicity it glossed over crucial facts and advocated passionately for questionable solutions, in the end bringing more critical attention back to Invisible Children, the charismatic American youth group behind the campaign. Most of all the explosion of Kony 2012 has raised awareness about sensitivities around the politics of intervention in Africa, and the utility of digital activism and fundraising for awareness campaigns in the United States. Today we hear from four guests: Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan journalist, about where Joseph Kony is now, and how Ugandans are responding to the new attention; Gilad Lotan, a network researcher, about what he found when he dug into the data on how the Kony2012 meme spread; Ethan Zuckerman, a founder of Global Voices, on whether simple narratives can ever help solve complex issues; and Amanda Taub, a blogger and human rights expert, on what Invisible Children could have done differently.


23 Mar 2012

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Last updated

January 31, 2015