‘Kony 2012’ dominates social media

Facebook and other social media outlets have been buzzing with the release of the new video “Kony 2012,” created by the charity Invisible Children. The documentary sheds light on Uganda’s tyrant Joseph Kony who is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony kidnaps children from Uganda and turns them into child-sex slaves or child soldiers. In 2005, he was convicted of war crimes but he has yet to be captured.

Sophomore Desiree Shields, who hopes to raise awareness, has created a Facebook group with a link to the video, a charity site and a petition. Currently, around 5,400 Facebook users have joined in the group and that number is increasing daily.

“Kony 2012 is a great organization that is trying to spread awareness of Joseph Kony,” Shields said. “I feel as if this actually is our generation’s time to prove itself, to show the world that we teens can make a difference if we put our minds to it.”

Shields and the other four hosts of the Facebook group are trying to organize fundraisers and sell shirts and bracelets to help the cause.

“Joseph Kony deserves to be brought to justice, and that’s exactly what we are working to do …  through our very highly populated Facebook group … or clubs that are beginning at schools. We will stop at nothing,” Shields said.

Senior Ankur Mehindru has a different perspective on the “Kony 2012” video. He said that instead of watching the 30-minute “Kony 2012” video, created by Jason Russell, teens should donate $1  to The American Institute of Philanthropy’s Africare program. Seventy-five percent of the money donated will go to the children of Uganda affected by Kony.

“I want to bring him to justice, but after doing some actual research instead of getting my information from one source that has been accused by multiple organizations for falsifying and manipulating its audience, I choose a better approach,” Mehindru said. “I would donate through Africare who sends at least 75 cents out of every dollar donated directly to Uganda to those affected.”

The senior also said it’s a waste of time to watch the video that will provide no help to those affected and that is directed to purposely manipulate the average American teenager’s emotions with a well-funded and well-edited propaganda piece.

“I’ve tried telling people this, yet I cannot get past their exterior ignorant shell which will only get its info from a video with a cute little boy in it and a cool audio track,” Mehindru said. “All I ask of people is to question things before blindly following them. Otherwise you’re basically a puppet following someone else’s orders. And even if you look into all the facts and still honestly believe that supporting this organization is the right thing to do, go ahead. As long as you make the decision, and not some blond surfer guy who just made a nice video.”

By Lindsay Gorham and Valerie Ferretti