In response to much of the criticism that KONY 2012 has received over the past few days following their enormously successful viral campaign, Invisible Children offered answers to some of the tough questions that the public has been asking.
Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children and maker of the KONY 2012 film, spoke on Australian national television about some of the public’s concerns.
Jolly Grace Okot Andruvile, Invisible Children’s Country Director in Uganda, put up this video not more than 5 hours ago expressing her feelings on the campaign’s success and its consequent criticism.
It’s great that many of us are now taking a greater interest into not only working towards the protection of children in central Africa, but also showing concern for child soldiers and slavery all over the world. Perhaps what I am most surprised about is the fact that people are finally checking their sources. You should never believe everything you hear, and it’s always important to make sure that the information you are taking in is credible and accurate. I think it’s fantastic that people are questioning the movement, and the same approach should be taken with ANY information you take in. That includes the news, social media, the internet, your friends, and your leaders.
But it’s important to remember that whilst such information should be questioned and critically analysed, it should be done with respect. Bloggers, video bloggers, and even news sources have dished out some pretty harsh criticsm of the people behind KONY 2012 movement, and some have even claimed that they are “telling lies”. It’s quite easy to make these claims from behind a keyboard, but would you say the same thing face-to-face to someone like Jolly Grace Okot, a survivor of child abduction and sexual slavery? Or Jacob Acaye, a child abductee featured in the KONY 2012 film that witnessed his brother’s death before his own eyes?
Be very careful with what you say, because in this era YOU are the publishers – it goes straight on to the internet, without editors and without filters. Somewhere along the line, people like the ones I mentioned above may read what you said, and they may get upset about your unfounded or insensitive claims. They are humans too, and that doesn’t change just because our connection is through a screen. We are all human beings, and we all feel.
For some further reading, here is an interesting article in which Jacob Acaye defends Invisible Children and their movement: