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Media And The Kony 2012 Movement In Uganda

1565 words - 6 pages

As Plato once said, “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance”. From talk radio to television shows, from popular magazines to Web blogs, ordinary citizens, political figures, and entertainers express their opinions on a variety of topics. These technological advances and social media allows us to foster and explore our democratic right under the First Amendment (freedom of speech) to publicly discuss issues and offer opinions from different perspectives. As everyone’s opinion will differ from the next person, having a wide range of opinions can indirectly educate those who do not know anything about the topic and inspire them to research further into that topic.
As part of a generation that is becoming heavily dependent on technology and social media, it is also an effective way to spread awareness about issues and topics. In 2012, a video titled Kony 2012 was uploaded by an organization called Invisible Children, and gained millions of views within hours of it being uploaded. The purpose of the video was to spread awareness on the Lord’s Resistance Movement (LRA) in Uganda and its leader, Joseph Kony. "For 26 years, Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group, the LRA. Turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers. He makes them mutilate people's faces. And he forces them to kill their own parents. And this is not just a few children. It's been over 30,000 of them" (Invisible Children). Due to its phenomenal success and millions of views each day and shared throughout various sources of social media such as Twitter and Facebook, many teenagers became aware of the video and were inspired to take of the action thus becoming part of the Kony 2012 movement. With the use of social media, it heavily influenced many people to support the Kony 2012 movement such as donating money, buying shirts and putting up posters to continue to spread awareness and support of the cause. Through social media and “Celebrities have inundated their Twitter feeds with calls to their followers to help stop the brutal leader. Bloggers who cover Africa and technology have cautioned not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And Thursday, even President Obama came out in support of the campaign” (Flock). With the help of mass media and famous influential figures, Invisible Children was successfully able to spread their issue to bring awareness to people about who Kony was and influenced many teenagers and young adults to support and fight against the issue.
However, there are also the people who criticize and question about the validity of the sources addressed in the video. “Among the most influential of advocacy groups focusing specifically on the LRA are the Enough project, the Resolve campaign, the Canadian-based group GuluWalk, and the media-oriented group Invisible Children. Older agencies, from Human Rights Watch to World Vision, have also been involved. In their campaigns, such organizations have manipulated facts...

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