Ugandans Respond to Kony2012 Campaign through Social Media

After the viral hit of Invisible Children’s controversial Kony2012 video, social media sites lit up with responses. There was some praise and much criticism for the campaign. If nothing else, Kony2012 started a conversation. Soon enough, Ugandans themselves began weighing in through social media outlets. Through Twitter and other platforms, many Ugandans began explaining to the worlds some of the issues with the campaign and the reality of the LRA situation and life in Uganda.

Al Jazeera (along with our very own Ugandan guest speaker in class) helped reach out to Ugandans to join in the conversation. They began working on the blog Uganda Speaks only two days after the video went viral. On the back-end, they used FrontlineSMS for text to twitter conversations, as well as Ushahidi to track Ugandan opinions throughout the Uganda. They sent out the message below from their twitter account to encourage Ugandans to respond with their opinions
One journalist from Uganda emailed them saying… “There is a total disconnect between the invisible children and the community they claim to serve. Why make Kony famous? You cannot make a wrong person famous. Stop Kony, then what? In the video, they are advocating for a militaristic approach of getting Kony, through the help of the US army, they should have shown the possibility of having other channels open too because in trying to get Kony, lives of many might be lost. And these are children and relatives of people in Northern Uganda. Now that Kony is famous online (Twitter, facebook, youtube etc), what next? If he is not captured by 31st Dec what will happen? stopping Kony is beyond the comfort of our living rooms on twitter using our Ipads and iphones.”
I personally believe that no campaign or movement in development should be immune to criticism and response from local people who are being affected. The same social media that made the Kony2012 video go viral is now an outlet for its critics and the very people of Uganda who are being affected the most by this campaign. If anything, Invisible children have sparked a dialog and have gotten people talking about Uganda. Ugandan voices are now being heard through the power of social media.

About etherspace

I am a junior joint Spanish-Portuguese & international development major at Tulane University. View all posts by etherspace

One response to “Ugandans Respond to Kony2012 Campaign through Social Media

  • mkenned1

    You bring up some great points at the end of your entry. I agree that Kony2012 cannot be successful only by trending on Facebook and Twitter. Efforts made beyond our computer screens are necessary for any true effect.

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