FROM J. Peter Pham
'Kony 2012' and Youth Activism In a week's time, the video Kony 2012 has jumped from zero to 76 million views on the Internet. Produced by a group called Invisible Children , its stated aim is to stop a brutal war lord named Joseph Kony and his “Lord's Resistance Army” from recruiting tens of thousands of Ugandan child soldiers to murder their parents and other civilians, creating havoc with no political purpose. The video promises that viewers can "change the world" by creating "awareness." We look at the source of the half-hour production's appeal and why it might be counter-productive.
Can a Viral Video Change the World? Kony 2012 went online just a week ago, and it's already chalked up 76 million views on You Tube, raising more than $10 million. Produced by a group called Invisible Children , it claims that widespread "awareness" can stop brutal Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his "Lord's Resistance Army" from kidnapping tens of thousands of children and turning them into soldiers, to murder their parents and other civilians and create havoc with no political purpose. Millions of young viewers are now focused on Central Africa, but some experts call it the wrong message at the wrong time. Why is Kony 2012 so appealing? How did it get so big so fast? Why do critics call "awareness campaigns" a form of "slacktivism?"
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