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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kony 2012 and Social Media

My post today is not essentially going to cover anything particularly newsworthy but was instead inspired by the actions of my friends. They did nothing particularly outstanding or noteworthy today that I am aware of but they managed to aid  the film Kony 2012 created by the Invisible Children Group on its way to its current total of over 4,200,00 views in just two days.

The film deals with the crimes of Joseph Kony who has ordered the abduction of thousands of Ugandan children as head of the Ugandan guerrilla group the Lord's Resistance Army (or L.R.A. ) and forced many of the girls into sexual slavery and boys into working as combatants for his ends. He as indicted by the ICC in 2005.

While I could write a considerably long piece on this group and the crimes of Mr Kony I want to focus on something else. This video has been shared by 10% of my Facebook friends, living in places as far afield as Ireland, France and Japan. It has managed to garner over 4,000,000 views in just 2 days, a feat usually and perhaps sadly only reserved for the lasted music video releases by the worlds biggest artists.

The film makes an important point at its outset about the power of social media. I'm sure that it has happened to everyone here that they have found out about the death of a celebrity via Facebook or Twitter or perhaps someone shared some of the shocking video of the tsunami on their page to raise awareness, or the devastation in Haiti.

With the invention of the internet people do really have the power to come together for so much good. The movement to stop the passage of the kill the gays bill was largely an internet based one and it has been so far successful. The internet and social media are so often whether rightly or wrongly lambasted and I am sure that if campaigns such as that of the Invisible Children Group appeared everyday the public may grow fatigued however, perhaps when we can do so much with just a few clicks we owe it to our international community to do it.

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