Social Question

CaptainHarley's avatar

Just wondering what my fellow jellies think of this video?

Asked by CaptainHarley (22409points) March 19th, 2012

This video has gone viral and millions have seen it. What do you think about it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

It’s a scam, and the guy in the video had some sort of mental breakdown that had him naked in public ranting like a mad man, lol.

rebbel's avatar

I’ll be back in 29.59 min.
Edit: Okay, make that three minutes.
I guess clicking the link will have added me as a viewer, so, goal reached.
If I am right the goal is to have as many people view the film and make Kony ’(in)famous’?

Kayak8's avatar

I am grateful that they brought attention to the problem, but I am not in complete agreement with their solution. Kony is no longer in Uganda but is spreading his special joy elsewhere in Africa at this time. He needs to be brought up on human rights charges, but at what cost to the children who surround him . . .

CaptainHarley's avatar


I disagree that it’s a scam, and just because the producer had a nervous breakdown does not invalidate the facts of the case.

DominicX's avatar

It’s interesting because it seems like many people went through these stages in the days following seeing the video:

Awe and disgust “we need to do something!”—-> Questioning “Maybe this isn’t the best solution, but I might still donate; something needs to be done”—-> Dismay after research “Looks like Kony’s been inactive for a while and isn’t even in Uganda”—> Total disregard “The founder’s a lunatic, it means nothing now.”

WestRiverrat's avatar

It is a fund raising scam. There are several legitimate children’s charities available to address the suffering in Africa that give 70% or better to the cause they promote.

When only 30% of the funds raised go to promotion of the cause, it is time to find a new charity.

But I work for a children’s charity so I may be biased.

ETpro's avatar

Kony needs to be stopped, and Jason Russell’s’ problems have no impact on that fact.

Blackberry's avatar

@CaptainHarley @ETpro Yeah, you guys are right about his breakdown. It has no effect on the actual events; that was wrong of me to say.

I wouldn’t say it’s completely a scam, but it appears the motives aren’t very transparent.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s colonialism. The film was not made with the consultation or input of the people of Uganda, who don’t approve of it. They think the issue is old. They don’t want Kony to be made famous, the way he is now being made famous. He has been chased into the jungle and has few followers and is irrelevant. There are many more pressing problems.

And this guy comes along with his slick marketing and pitches this issue to raise a lot of money for one of the least efficient charities there is. Only 35 cents on the dollar actually go to do the work of the charity. The rest goes for overhead costs. That does not compare favorably with most charities.

Give your money where you like. If you want to be swayed by emotional pitches, by all means, go ahead. But I suggest you do a little research. Don’t just listen to me. Do you own research and find out whether this is the cause you want and if it is the cause you want, and it is the most important cause you can support not, is this the way you want to support it?

My daughter, who is 15, clued me into this when it first came out. She said she was instantly suspicious. She said all the thirteen year old girls on facebook are going apeshit over this. So my daughter did some research and grew quite skeptical.

Then a much older person—a friend of ours from other circles—sent the email out. It just shows the power of the emotional appeal. But in this case, I don’t think we should let our emotions overrule our heads. This is not what it appears to be and there are a lot more effective ways to spend our “do good” money.

DeanV's avatar

It’s kind of a complicated problem, and something I’m personally a bit torn on.

One one hand, I hate a few aspects of that video. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine when you get a video like that that encourages you to “raise awareness”, as I feel that by nature “raising awareness” is sort of bullshit. Before you all jump on me about that, though, let me explain myself.
I am all for taking down Kony. I am all for more people knowing about the cause. I am all for what Invisible Children is trying to do. But really? Encouraging people to hashtag #kony2012? Changing your tumblr background? Fuck that. That’s not “raising awareness”, it’s slacktivism. I see a lot of people who have watched the video, and have now started hashtagging things #kony2012, changing their tumblr avatar to fit the anti-Kony stuff, and then getting on people’s case when they call them out for not really doing anything. That’s not helping, it’s merely bandwagoning onto a cause to karmically balance yourself and make you feel like you’re doing something. Slacktivism. If you want to do something, write a letter to congress. Talk to people face-to-face. Donate money! But get down from your high horse and don’t tell me that you’re helping because you put #kony2012 on everything.

But then that leads to the donate money comment. I think that’s really where most of this is going to play out, but like @WestRiverrat said, there are far better places to put your money than Invisible Children. They’ve said themselves that “about 20 percent [of their budget] goes to salaries and overhead, and the remaining 43 percent goes to our awareness programs”. That leaves a whopping 37 percent that’s actually going to the cause they so strongly preach in their heavy-handed videos.
So call me cynical, but I call that a scam. People are donating to them thinking their money is going towards helping take down Joseph Kony, but in reality, 20% of their 15 dollar donation is going right to Jason Russell and co.‘s pockets, and the other 40% is going towards making more videos like the one we watched.

I hate holding a stance like this, because it makes me seem really unreasonable and anti-change. I’m not pro-child soldier, but I think the way Invisible Children has exploited all of this is really, really sad.


CaptainHarley's avatar


Intresting insight. Thank you!

sinscriven's avatar

That video is a perfect example of how effective propaganda can be, and it was done really well. Even to the point of focusing on suffering on the individual story level instead of using the whole scope of people suffering because there is scientific evidence that our levels of compassion decrease the larger the suffering is because we then feel hopeless and can’t connect to a person on a personal level. The strong appeals to emotion, the call to action that is simple enough to stir up the average facebook armchair activist without anyone having to do any real work or activism. Look at how facebook went all up in arms with the Komen foundation debacle, everyone suddenly gave a crap about Planned Parenthood and now, what? Nothing. Even when conservative states are trying to gut PP at the cost of their state’s entire women’s health funding from medicare (Namely Texas). Nobody cares because that particular issue wasn’t propagandized enough.

It’s also misleading. The documentary was made several years ago, and was repackaged for this 30 minute release. Kony’s no longer there, and western powers (including the US) already have advisors in the area trying to capture the guy for years. The video outright advocates violence and warmongering because “white people have to do something to cure this injustice!” when the situation is far from that simple. Like we need yet another armed conflict, Like our soldiers need even more war trauma from having to kill brainwashed or enslaved children. That guy would slaughter them just to spite others and to prove a point.

Al-Jazeera did a bit recently and screened the movie for Ugandans and the reaction was pretty negative. One woman described the whole bit offensive, as if like post-911 someone decided to put out some Osama bin-Laden merchandise.

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