Invisible Children and Kony 2012: Friend or Foe?

A few days ago I posted a video which I called “Possibly the Best Use of Social Media I have Ever Seen.” I watched the video, I believed that their use of media was commendable and I thought it was worthwhile to share what they were doing.

Since then there has been some controversy surrounding the organization that produced the video called “Invisible Children”. The controversy has revolved around the fact that some people don’t believe enough of the IC budget goes to actually solving problems, but instead is used to produce videos like the one that is making it’s rounds on the internet.


IC is primarily a organization dedicated to getting a message out. Therefore it makes sense that their budget goes toward film making. I have watched their videos for years and share them, and will continue to do so.

The Kony 2012 campaign is about AWARENESS, and if there is one thing IC is incredible good at it’s AWARENESS.

You can’t view them in the same paradigm that you would use to view World Vision or The Red Cross.

They are intentionally setting out to accomplish different things. If you have pulled a link to the video because of this misgiving, I would encourage you to put the video back up, perhaps with a editorial comment, but leave it up.

This is a social media campaign and it’s a whole lot better then most of the crap I see floating around Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube these days.

I would rather pay a few dollars to send IC to film a movie about real issues then pay a few dollars to watch some trashy Hollywood bit, and that is the main reason I would support IC.

IC is in the business of media, and their actually producing media that deals with real issues. If you want to attack a media company there are MUCH bigger fish to fry. IC is a better investment of my media budget then going to my local cinema or a netflix account.

If you want to support Kids in need there are plenty of other organizations that you can give too as well.

It’s not an either/or it’s a both/and.

And heck, IC even does some real work in Uganda too… so BONUS!

IC isn’t perfect but their flaws are something that should be corrected as part of the conversation instead of rejected wholesale. Issues like this are never black and white… it’s in the tensions of perspectives that we learn.

Things like Kony 2012 are great as long as we stay hungry to be well informed.

Watching a Viral Video won’t change the world, but it might remind you to look into usings your resources toward things that can.

This is why I think Invisible Children and Kony 2012 are FRIENDS to be embraced and talked to rather then foes to be rejected.

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