Kony 2012 campaign questioned
Thu, 08 Mar 2012 12:40p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Kony 2012, a documentary posted online with the aim of taking down a Ugandan war criminal has gone viral.
Joseph Kony is a Ugandan guerrilla leader, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is attempting to establish a theocratic government in the country based on the Ten Commandments.
The documentary was posted online on in early March, and by Thursday morning had amassed over 15 million views. The Twitter hashtag #stopkony was also one of the top trending topics in New Zealand and worldwide.
Made by Jason Russell for peace campaign group Invisible Children, the 27-minute documentary details Kony's alleged crimes, which include kidnapping children to fight in his army, sexual enslavement and killing civilians.
In 2005 the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest, but he has since evaded capture.
Invisible Children hopes that Kony 2012 will make its namesake famous, and "raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice".
A website set up by Invisible Children for the documentary has struggled with the traffic. On it, supporters can watch the documentary and send tweets to celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey and Tim Tebow, or powerful international figures like Bill Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Mitt Romney.
Protests have been organised worldwide for April 20, including in Auckland and Wellington.
Last night the Auckland event listing on Facebook had approximately 5000 indicating they would attend –this morning there were over 13,000.
Participants are planning to cover the city in posters and stickers overnight.
Invisible Children has come under criticism from some however, being accused of manipulating facts, ignoring alleged abuses committed by the Ugandan People's Defence Force (which has been fighting Kony's group for over two decades) and refusing to have its accounts independently audited.
The group's financial statements show only 31 percent of the money it receives is actually spent on helping people in Uganda – the rest goes towards travel expenses, filmmaking costs and paying the salaries of the charity's three founders - Ben Keesey, Laren Poole and Kony 2012 director, Jason Russell.
Invisible Children's founders have also posed for photographs (whilst holding what appear to be AK-47 machine guns) with the Sudan People's Liberation Army, which along with the Ugandan People's Defence Force, has been accused of killing and raping civilians.
US President Barack Obama has also already sent US troops to Africa with the express purpose of capturing Kony, who hasn't been active in Uganda since 2006. The Lord's Resistance Army has been listed as a terrorist group by the US government since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In 2011, Kony was listed as the ninth-most-wanted fugitive in the world by Forbes magazine.
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5/02/2013 2:59:00 a.m.
ssempijja krish micheal wrote:
do you think about or were you produced by human beings.stop that and come back to christ he still needs you as you are .thanx i wish you read this text and change.'
20/08/2012 10:02:49 a.m.
Maddison Thomas wrote:
KONY IS FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!
9/03/2012 12:58:53 a.m.
@Sophia well thats depends, did they spend the remaining 69% effectively or not? Thats why other people should actually look into the organisation first before deciding. Some research doesnt hurts. You do have a point though.
@Phelix thats a rather stupid response. We know they need money to pay off their living cost... 31% is still 31% at the end.
I would rather like to see how much they pay themselves per year, the campaigning cost etc (from this article, it doesnt seems that it was effectively since I only found out about them this week! (Compared to other charity that probably spent less was more effective).
8/03/2012 10:25:56 p.m.
I think most of the criticisms people are throwing around were addressed on their site by them already here: http://www.invisiblechildren.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/critiques.html
Not saying it is 100% right the way they are going about it, just a bit surprised by the backlash against them and think some deeper digging is needed by journalists before publishing things that readers will just read as fact.
8/03/2012 9:33:01 p.m.
Lucy Katt wrote:
Me and a small group are going to "Cover the Night" on Queen st, Auckland. If anyone would like to join us on April the 20th please email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss a time and place to meet up. Thanks,
8/03/2012 9:19:21 p.m.
I am all for bringing down Kony, but isn't anyone worried about what he said to his kid? He's only 2 for crying out loud!
8/03/2012 7:40:54 p.m.
wtfs up with society.
8/03/2012 7:12:39 p.m.
I don't see a problem with them having money to live! They fight for a cause, their families are entitled to have a roof over their head and food on their table. Sorry if you're all so cold hearted to think that they should be living under a bridge fighting the cause
8/03/2012 6:54:38 p.m.
I think the fact that only 31 per cent is spent should not even be argued. For if they did not spend the money on campaigning...how many people would know about it? Not everyone studies politics.
8/03/2012 6:40:03 p.m.
I think we all need to realize all charity's dont give a lot of the money we give them to where its ment to go it all goes on advertisement and salarys i think they should be exposed about the amounts of where the money goes.
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