By now you've probably seen several notices, Tweets, Pins or Facebook posts about a film called Stop Kony 2012 which ends with a plea for money from a group called Invisible Children.
Don't give any money to Invisible Children. It does not seem to be a legit charity. It's much better to give to established charities with political clout like Amnesty International or Witness.
Thank you. And now back to the usual inanity, already in progress.
Apparently this Invisible Children group spent $8 million making this film. Hmmmmm. That smells like scam to me OR an inability to prioritise donations.
Nemesis_478 March 2012 at 10:52amPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
What is 'Kony 2012'?
Perhaps you've seen it popping up in your Facebook or Twitter feeds -- "StopKony2012" or "Kony 2012," "Invisible Children" or "Cover the Night."
It's gone viral online -- topping the Twitter trends list for Seattle and the greater USA.
So what the heck is Kony, and why should you care?
Kony is Joseph Kony, a mad warlord who's been leading a rebel army fighting the ugandan government for decades. His Lord's Resistance Army is a documented menace, guilty of brutal war crimes and kidnapping thousands of children and using them as soldiers, forced laborers and sex slaves.
The LRA bills itself as a Christian force, with Kony believing he is a voice for spirits that possess his body to communicate their demands to the LRA's followers. International Christian charities and human rights groups, however, consider the LRA a cult and are part of the growing coalition urging action to stop Kony and the LRA once and for all.
Kony is such a bad guy that President Obama has deployed American troops to Uganda. The troops -- fewer than 100 in all -- arrived last fall and are focused on training and providing other support to the armed forces of Uganda and other bordering countries.
Unfortunately that happens with a lot of charities.
I read once that Christian Children's Fund was one of the few charities where close to 100 percent of donations go to the actual charity work and not administrative costs.
They've changed their name to Save The Children.
A worthwhile cause.
Nemesis_4711 March 2012 at 1:50amPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
'Kony 2012': Two sides to being a digital media sensation
'Kony 2012' is a YouTube success, but Invisible Children finds that digital media attention can be a double-edged sword as its detractors rise.
By James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda in 2006. (Associated Press )
March 10, 2012
In the voice-over introducing his video "Kony 2012," Jason Russell tells a worldwide audience, "The game has new rules." The human rights activist's words seem fulfilled by the phenomenal response to his video about the murderous African warlord Joseph Kony: More than 58 million views had been recorded just four days after its YouTube release Monday.
But the response to the video also confirmed that every digital media sensation also invites a large, if not equal, reaction, with the Kony production provoking hundreds of video retorts, uncounted Tumblr posts, countless journalism critiques and millions of comments on Facebook and Twitter.
VIDEO: Kony 2012 targets Uganda militia leader
PHOTOS: The cruelty of Kony's army
The deluge included a dissection of the finances of San Diego-based Invisible Children, the creator of the video, a slam on the video's role in what writer Teju Cole deemed the "White Savior Industrial Complex" and suggestions of many relief groups more worthy of public support.
Russell and his fellow activists said they created the video determined to end the reign of Kony, whose Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted thousands of children for exploitation as soldiers and sex slaves. Russell and his companions have employed social media and celebrities including pop stars Bono, Justin Bieber and Rihanna to promote a video that they said helps "the people of the world see each other and … protect each other."
The fevered, multi-channel response seemed to flow into two major streams. One credited the video with drawing attention to the plight of people living in Uganda and neighboring countries. The second attacked the slickly produced presentation for glossing over complications, overstating the current threat from Kony and diverting attention from solutions more fruitful than a Kony manhunt.
"It certainly hits at the strength and the weakness of new media," said communications professor Barbie Zelizer, a fellow with the Stanford Center for Advanced Study who studies news images in the world's crisis regions. "They are undeniably faster, but they are also undeniably less reliable. It's great when things go fast and they are correct. It's not great when they go fast and they are not correct."
Maria Burnett, a researcher on Uganda for Human Rights Watch, told the Associated Press that the video helped bring notice to an issue the group has been working on for years. "We hope it will be helpful," she said. "What it leads to remains to be seen, but the goal to bring pressure on key leaders, to protect civilians and to apprehend LRA leadership is important, absolutely."
But Burnett and other workers for rights agencies and journalists faulted the video for greatly oversimplifying the challenges in northern Uganda and the region and urged support of other groups working to provide services to former child soldiers and the displaced.
In November, an article in Foreign Affairs magazine said San Diego-based Invisible Children had "manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA's use of innocent children as soldiers."
The young Americans did so while paying scant attention to the atrocities committed by the Ugandan military (which they support in the hunt for Kony) or the Sudan People's Liberation Army, including attacks on civilians, the Foreign Affairs piece said.
Writing for the Huffington Post, Michael Deibert, author of "Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair," also slammed the video makers, saying they had depicted military intervention as a panacea.
Deibert wrote that, after a failed attempt to get Kony not long ago (supported by U.S. advisors), the warlord's army counterattacked against villages in Congo, resulting in the death of hundreds of people and the kidnapping of 100 children. "What is the system of protection that Invisible Children advocates for communities such as these, put in the line of fire by the military operations the group advocates?" Deibert asked.
Responding on the group's website, the video makers conceded they "sought to explain the conflict in an easily understandable format, focusing on the core attributes of LRA leadership that infringe upon the most basic of human rights. In a 30-minute film, however, many nuances of the 26-year conflict are admittedly lost or overlooked."
Rebecca Rosen, writing in the Atlantic online, said she hoped that the obvious flaws and outpouring of criticism of the video wouldn't turn off the millions of young people who have watched it. "It would be a terrible outcome," Rosen wrote, "if those who initially pushed the video along were discouraged by this experience from further engagement, overlearning the lesson and believing there is no positive way for Americans to engage in the world abroad."
Zenrider11 March 2012 at 3:10amPosts: 3545 (0 today)Status: offline
I saw something about a video on Huffington Post but it said warning graphic Rape & Murder so I didn't watch it. But it had something to do with this.
Nemesis_4717 March 2012 at 1:28amPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell in hospital
Jason Russell Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell was picked up by San Diego Police
16 March 2012 Last updated at 20:18 ET
The co-founder of Invisible Children has been taken to hospital in San Diego, California, after he was found semi-naked and screaming at traffic.
Jason Russell narrated the Kony 2012 campaign video which went viral on the internet last week.
Police said he had been detained and taken to a medical facility.
In a statement, Invisible Children head Ben Keesey said that a "severe emotional toll" had led to an "unfortunate incident".
The statement said Mr Russell had been hospitalized on Thursday "suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition".
San Diego police spokeswoman Andra Brown told AFP news agency: "Officers responded to a radio call to check the welfare of an individual who was said to be running in the street, interfering with traffic, screaming - one person said that he was naked and masturbating."
She added that after assessing his condition, officers had decided to take him to a medical facility for treatment.
Invisible Children's 30 minute video on the use of child soldiers by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda has been viewed tens of millions of times on YouTube over the past week.
It has the backing of countless celebrities and the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, but both the group and the video have also come under heavy criticism.
Activists say the campaign simplifies a complex issue, and questions have been raised about Invisible Children's financing.