Can Crowdsourcing Take Down A Warlord?

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 8 2012 @ 7:58am

"Kony," the last name of brutal Ugandan warlord Joseph, took over Twitter's trending topics on Tuesday as part of a campaign sparked by the above video. Daniel Solomon is inspired:

KONY 2012 is not about the [Lord's Resistance Army], Joseph Kony, or political violence in northern Uganda. Rather, it’s a story of one man (Jason Russell, Invisible Children’s co-founder and the documentary’s director), scaled up to the story of common humanity (young students, mobilizing their communities in support of justice, human rights, and peace in northern Uganda) and the urgency of active action against LRA atrocities in Central Africa ("This movie expires on December 31, 2012"). Invisible Children’s effectiveness as a grassroots organization stems from this fundamental, narrative pattern: it’s about atrocities, yes, but more than that, it’s about what our mobilization against these atrocities suggests about our common virtues, transnational connections, and moral strength.

Jack McDonald expresses mixed feelings about the campaign:

Joseph Kony deserves to be put in cuffs and dragged before the ICC. Raising the profile of the heinous nature of the guy’s crimes is awesome. The idea that popular opinion can be leveraged with viral marketing to induce foreign military intervention is really, really dangerous. It is immoral to try and sell a sanitised vision of foreign intervention that neglects the fact that people will die as a result. That goes for politicians as much as for Jason Russell.

Musa Okwonga wants activists to pay attention to the political dysfunction in Uganda that enables Kony.