KONY 2012 and the power of the web
Nearly 56 million people have watched this video in the last five days. Now I’ve said that you probably don’t need to be told which video I’m talking about. Whatever your thoughts about the KONY 2012 film, it is a truly inspired use of the web.
I’ve watched the video and I’ve read the reaction, both supportive and questioning. The film is unarguably powerful and inspiring, and personally I think while some of the doubts raised have merit, this is at heart unquestionably a good cause. The Invisible Children group are using the power of the web, involving websites, web videos, Facebook, Twitter and more, to try and secure the capture of the most wanted war criminal on the planet.
The fact that the Invisible Children group have brought the subject of Joseph Kony’s rule of terror to the attention of an initially dismissive US government and pressured it into changing its stance and into sending military advisers to Uganda is simply incredible. It has taken global support to achieve this action and the web has played a huge role in raising this support.
There is a very salient comment in the film that speaks directly to this power of the web that I’m talking about – the web, websites, web videos and social media – these things all exist in a world without borders. Information and ideas can be shared with anyone, anywhere. For a long time, Joseph Kony’s crimes were little known outside of Uganda but the Invisible Children group and the web has changed that forever.
Social networks have played a major role is spreading the message, with Twitter leading the way in sending the film viral in the last week. George Clooney is in the film, supporting the cause, and countless celebrities, from P.Diddy to Justin Bieber, have tweeted their backing, helping to fan the flames of this wildfire.
If you haven’t already, go and watch the Kony 2012 film, read the reaction in newspapers and on blogs, and then make your own mind up. I think it’s impossible not to believe in the cause. It is tempting to say that we’re witnessing today’s version of the web at its most powerful. We’ll see. #KONY2012