Who Made #StopKony Go Viral?

Mar 29 2012 @ 8:47am

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Martin Gurri breaks down the demographic that propelled Kony 2012 to super-viral status. Turns out the popularity was thanks to teenage Southern girls:

[F]emales aged 13 to 17 lead the charge, followed by males aged 18-34. … The dominant means of diffusion, predictably for this age group, were mobile phones, Facebook, and Twitter (where #StopKony trended for several days). A deeper probe into the character of the Kony network begins to turn up surprises. 

Gilad Lotan parsed the first 5,000 posters to the #StopKony hashtag, and found they clustered around mid-sized cities in the South and heartland:  Birmingham, Alabama; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Oklahoma City; Dayton, Ohio; Noblesville, Indiana.  Lotan then produced a tagcloud from the user profiles of these vanguard posters.  “We easily identify prominent words,” he writes, “such as Jesus, God, Christ, University, and Student.”

Meanwhile, Mark A. Drumbl contrasts the reality of child soldiers to the doctored portrayal sold in Kony 2012.