We all love the internet, well, at least, we all use it. So if, for example a massive propaganda piece exploded all over the internet as if a massive idea vomited all over cyberspace, the internet’s incredibly large number of users would easily be sucked up in it, right? Yep, I’m 16, and I’m in a minority that believes the ‘Kony 2012’ organisation is, to put it easily, a bit dodgy.
Having watched the video, I was shocked, and unnerved by how much it relied on the shock factor, and (very skilled) photo editing to help bring meaning to the loose statements mentioned. Yes, Joseph Kony exists, and of course, he’s scum, and this is a good cause, but after doing a bit of research I found this simple line; and people I have discussed this with have also brought it up: ‘He has not been considered a pressing problem by the locals in Uganda since about 2006’.
Yes, that’s right, the nice man in the video with the cute son, who was talking to the children whose lives have been torn apart, didn’t tell you that there has been no problem with Kony in Uganda for six years. Does that mean we should let him off? No. Does it mean we shouldn’t create a larger problem by spreading the word and sending people to find him? Perhaps so.
“What that video says is totally wrong, and it can cause us more problems than help us,” said Dr Beatrice Mpora, director of Kairos, a community health organisation in Gulu, which was once heavily affected by Kony and his followers, the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’ (the LRA). Another thing I noticed when watching this video was that none of the interviewed mentioned Kony, or the LRA, and it was all very vague. I think that this man could easily manipulate a video to prove a point, and something just doesn’t ring true with these interviews.
But why would this man lie? People do things for so many reasons, but it seems a lot of fuss just to prove a point. I can’t answer that question. I can’t say for definite that the cause is illegitimate, I just think it’s ironic how Kony brainwashed his child soldiers – and yet the creator stopping this, and preaching about the ability to think independently, has millions and millions of teens sharing this video – being drawn in with the dramatic effects rather than the facts and doing very little research on this ‘invisible Children’ they are supporting.
I rarely take these internet phenomenons at face value anyway, and I was considered to be heartless when I was failed to be moved by the interviews with the children whos lives were shattered. People who lost brothers, parents and lived in constant fear. But I’ve seen the ‘Save the Children’ adverts, and I watch Children in Need, and I’ve also seen countless brilliantly edited and mesmerising films. So this video was not a new thing to me.
However, it got me thinking: the internet has the power to do anything. We’ve all seen futuristic films where they use mind control and brainwashing to take over the world or whatever, and ‘Kony 2012’ left me thinking it was all too possible today. One good video. One generation of impressionable teens. Nearly a hundred million viewers. Can you imagine if Pinky and the Brain had Facebook and a YouTube account? He truly would take over the world!
Ashton Kutcher has 9, 803, 087 followers on Twitter. If he declared one day “It’s stroke a meercat day!” I wonder how many people would search to stroke a meercat. I think there’d be a few. If Justin Bieber, 18 551 920 followers, said it was “paint your face green day”, how many would paint their face green, even if they were allergic? You see, I think the internet has too much power of how we think, and I thought I’d tell you all how much it scares me.
PS. And no, I don’t know why Ashton Kutcher would want to stroke a meercat. But why not?