Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012 - A Digital Media Revolution

During our exploration of Human Rights as a problem solving topic, we focused on creation of child soldiers as a crime against humanity. That journey brought us to Invisible Children (which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube). The young men responsible for creating Invisible Children represent the potential within all of us. They originally went to Africa with a couple thousand dollars and a nice camera. Their mission was to capture some of the injustice experienced on the continent. During their travels they came to the city of Gulu. There they found hundreds of young children sleeping in the streets of the city. Upon investigation they discovered the children were hiding from local rebel groups, so that the soldiers would not kill them, or take them as child soldiers. Moved by the stories they heard, these young men made a promise to do something for the children of Uganda.

My students and I came across Kony 2012 on Tuesday, March 6th 2012. At that time there were only around 5,000 views of the video. As of this morning (Friday, March 9, 2012) over 52,000,000 people have viewed the call to action. This campaign represents the power of not only social networking, but our young people as well. When faced with injustice they gathered together, used digital media to rally others to the cause, and then proved to the establishment that change is here.

The digital media revolution represents a shift in the fundamental structure of our global society. When people join together by the millions to fight injustice globally, governments are forced to pay attention. When these same people begin to speak out and share with others, those same governments are then obligated to take action. Kony 2012 represents the potential that both technology, and our youth have to truly make the world a better place. Regardless of what one thinks of the endeavor, it is a direct reflection of the exponential changes new technology has introduced to the human experience.


  1. Disregard "mamster" it's Mamie. I may be a horrible person to say this, but KONY 2012 really bugs the crap out of me. It's as if KONY was the only man to every use children soldiers, ect. He's not. At all, we all know that. I wish we could show everyone that it's a heck of a lot bigger than this. And yes, I do realize it's very out of my character to comment on this blog. I realize.

  2. In some respects, I have to agree with Mamie. Kony is definitely not the only person using child soldiers, and if people made a big deal and knew about how many other people do terrible things, they couldn't happily say "Let's get Kony! Kony 2012", as if he is the only moster on this planet. This world, even in the policing countries like america, is full of monsters.Kony 2012 doesn't recognize that, and the public doesn't, and doesn't want to know. It is all fun and games when everyone can team up on the bully, but it is harder when you understand that that people you trust could be doing must worse.

  3. Personally, I don't think that we should just be focusing on Kony. There are probably many people out there do things much worse than him. The only reason that everyone is really getting worked up about this is that he is using children and we the people in the larger countries of the world are spooked by that because you never see anything like that happening where we live. What the public doesn't see is that there are people like that who could be living right next door to them, but it's not that big a deal because they aren't using children. I don't think that we shouldn't STOP Kony, I just think that there are other people out there that need to be stopped just as much as him but we don't care because we don't KNOW about these other people. If the media would just show what criminals here in America do, we would want to stop that first because that affects us more than what is happening over in Uganda. I don't think that what Kony is doing is right, but I think that if people actually understood what goes on in their own country, they would want to stop that first. The only reason people are speaking up against Kony is because the media glorified it and made the people that watched it really mad. I admit I WAS upset when I first watched it, but it made me think about the things that people here do and it made me wonder why we weren't doing anything against them. The public would rather bring down a criminal in some overseas country than to bring down the criminals that could be targeting them at their own home. I admit that I want to trust my neighbors, but it's really hard to know in today's society. Personally, I think we should focus on problems here in America first, then we can focus on other countries problems.

  4. I agree with everyone else that Joseph Kony shouldn't be getting all of our attention but I also think that the intention, and result of this movement was to show warlords in third world countries all over the world that citizens in first world countries aren't oblivious to what's happening in the world around them and WILL send in troops to take them down. Of course many people argue that first world countries have no right to be interfering with the affairs of other countries and they make some pretty good points. In the end, I think, whether you agree with what Kony 2012 is trying to do or not, in one week it was able to get millions of supporters. Some religions spent centuries trying to get that kind of following. For me at least it's really astounding the power that this kind of social media can give to one person, or one cause.