Kony 2012 video sparks controversy

On April 20, 2012, Kony 2012 posters just like this one will be hung everywhere around the globe to support the cause.

On April 20, 2012, Kony 2012 posters just like this one will be hung everywhere around the globe to support the cause.

Dani Pasco, Staff Writer

In this day and age, information can be sent across the globe and back in less than a second. Because of how quickly we can become connected, knowledge that would usually take weeks to cover the world if traveled by word of mouth can now only take hours. Such is the case with the 30-minute documentary, Kony 2012, which has become viral when it was uploaded to Youtube on March 5, and hit 60 million views in only the first five days. It now has over 85 million views.

The non-profit organization Invisible Children made this video to help spread the awareness of the number one most wanted man in the world: Joseph Kony. The video tells that he abducts children inAfricaand forces them to join his child army, and kill their own family and friends.

This isn’t a new problem. Kony has been abducting children like this for more than 25 years, says Invisible Children. They decided to make a video to get Kony “famous”. They say that Obama has already sent 100 troops to Uganda to put a stop to Kony’s ways. But Invisible Children also say that if the public loses interest, the troops will be pulled back. Invisible Children say that in order to stop Kony, they need to do it by the end of this year. Thus, the reason people are spreading awareness of Kony 2012.

That is only the tip of the iceberg. Invisible children have asked for donations, and in return, receive a kit filled with posters, t-shirts, and two bracelets to support the cause. The Invisible Children organization has been criticized before for not using all the money the get from donations to their cause.

After looking at the non-profit organizations’ finances, only about 32 percent actually goes to the Ugandan government to help the children! The rest of the money went to making the movie, making posters and other things to raise awareness, and paying their subordinates. According to www.charitynavigator.org, most charities donate over 70 percent of their donations to the cause, such as the American Red Cross, which donates over 88 percent, and Feed the Children, which donates over 97 percent.

Some people have also wondered how anybody can get to Kony, with his children soldiers protecting him. In order to get to Kony, they have to get through the children first. Some people say that the information of the army and situation are greatly exaggerated, just to get the viewers’ sympathy. Also, why wasn’t this problem addressed sooner?

Junior Jacob Rice doesn’t agree with how they spend their money. As a non-profit, more than half of the donations should go to the actual cause. Rice also says that because of this, he is not going to donate to Invisible Children. “I actually wouldn’t in the first place,” says Rice. “I’m too poor to donate anything!”

Rice also agrees that something should have been done about this problem much sooner. He is disappointed that it took all this time to spread the proper awareness and take action. The only reason people care about the cause now is because of the video. If there was no video, still nothing would be getting done.

Freshman Isaac Hubenschmidt says the video was very emotional. He is aware of all of the criticisms this video has had, but still he supports it. “Even if the video is exaggerated, it’s perfectly fine, because it gets the attention of many people. It helps them, so why not?” He says that if he had the money, he would donate, even if the percentage of money going to the cause is 30 percent. It’s still helping them, even though he wishes the percentage were higher.

Hubenschmidt believes that the troops in Africa will be able to capture him by the end of 2012. The video will stay popular if everyone spreads the word to their friends; and thus, keeping our troops searching for Kony.

One thing is for certain: Kony is real, what he is doing is real, and he must be stopped. With the viral video, the world seems more connected, fighting for the same cause. To be connected in this way is something that would not have happened if not for the new technology we have today. With this new technology, major problems across the globe will come into light, and everyone can take part in solving it.