Opinion: #Kony2012 is Working, Having an Impact on Gen Y

Unless you’ve given up your internet access for Lent (or probably even if you have) you’ve heard about Joseph Kony and Invisible Children’s campaign to propel him to fame. And if you’ve heard of him, chances are you have an opinion. Hundreds of thousands of newly impassioned Gen Y-ers have reposted, tweeted and shared the video.

Popularity does not exist without critics, some bringing up valid concerns, others refusing to “join the charitable band wagon” just because it’s cool to disagree.

You can find the background on Find Kony 2012 here, as another TNGG blogger explores the negative implications of the campaign.

The intentions behind the video are undeniably noble: find a murderous war lord and bring him to justice.

The critics are just as right to question such a popular movement born out of one organization, who has been no stranger to criticism long before their viral video.

But before you disregard Joseph Kony like the internet community did Rebecca Black, using a tumblr page that has been up for one day to justify it, step back and look at what the movement has done.

I don’t know about your facebook newsfeed, but people I’ve never known to read anything other than Cosmo have been getting involved. There is an open dialogue about what to do about Joseph Kony and the LRA. A week ago what was another issue in Africa relegated to the backburner of international news is on the front page of major newspapers, blogs, trending on twitter and getting everyone’s attention. Guess what? Kony2012 is working.

Whether you consider it ‘slactivism’ or getting a generation known for its apathy, as director of ‘The Occupiers’ said last week when I interviewed him, to get involved in a massive social campaign, the fact remains that the video has millions of views and is reaching almost everyone using a social networking site.

Many disagree with Invisible Children’s plan to collect funds for the Ugandan Army, another violent organization, to find Kony. This criticism is not unfounded nor is it new, but Kony 2012 has created a dialogue to discuss other options to a problem that most people didn’t know about a month ago but has been ravaging Africa for years.

Agree to disagree, but this viral video has done what many have thought was impossible—getting Gen Y to care about something other than memes or cat videos.

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Ashlynn Arias

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