March 8, 2012

The Problem with Invisible Children & the Kony video.

Make KONY Famous? Yes. Riveting video? Yes.

Like everyone else, elephant went crazy over that Kony video.

26 50 million views between vimeo and youtube? Wow.

But there’s a problem. Read the article at the bottom. ~ Waylon.

Update: Invisible Children’s eloquent response to mounting criticism.

Update: “For those moved by learning about Kony and the LRA and wanting to help, but unsure about the status of ‘invisible children’ I want to make you aware of the excellent charity ‘war child’ which is working with ex-child soldiers effected.” ~ Reddit.

More: “Why the Kony documentary and Invisible Children are one-sided – please read.”

“The argument AGAINST donating money to Invisible Children.” (vice.com)

“Revealing analysis of Invisible Children Inc.’s financial report. Only 32% spent on providing aid.

Read this. Excerpt:

We got trouble.

For those asking what you can do to help, please link to visiblechildren.tumblr.com wherever you see KONY 2012 posts. And tweet a link to this page to famous people on Twitter who are talking about KONY 2012!

I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.

KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’mnotalone.

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal for an issue which arguably needs action and aid, not awareness, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they lack an external audit committee. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army…read the rest here.

The film:


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