10 March 2012

When Memes Go To War; KONY 2012

If you have been on a social network at all the last few days, you cannot have missed the virally potent KONY2012 campaign.

Buoyed up by the notion that clicking can save lives, millions of armchair activists have thrown their support behind a campaign that, to be totally blunt, they have NO FUCKING IDEA about. Still, not everyone can know about everything, right? So hey! Lets share intel, and spread some basic information that seems missing from the Invisible Children video.

As Taz Buckfaster puts it to his social network:

"Pro-tip for all you KONY 2012 bandwagon-jumpers... Africa is a continent made up of 55 countries. Have a fucking clue about the place before supporting a charity that is suggesting we drop US troops in a region in which Kony's not even operated since 2006, all the while spending a metric fuckton of your donations on lavish expenses, flashy (and disingenuous) film-making, supporting an army notorious for rape as a weapon of war, and pushing for boots-on-ground Western intervention in an area which is going through a difficult and oft-faltering peace process.

You people make me sick. If you want to feel good about yourself, do some real good in the world. Clicks and shares don't mean shit."

People disagree about the number of countries (depends on your definition of country), but Taz's point is pretty spot on, and sums up what a lot of people have been thinking.

Here's some links!

 Kony 2012; what's the real story? (Guardian)
Joseph Kony Campaign Under Fire (BBC)
Kony 2012 Video Is Misleading (A Ugandan American)
Joseph Kony 2012: growing outrage in Uganda over film (Telegraph)

Click to embiggen:


  1. See also:


  2. I based my country numbers on the amount of members of the African Union + Morocco (non-member). I accept this might not be the best way to measure it, but as I'd read some conflicted sources, I went with that formula.

    However, the number of countries isn't the point.

    Anyway, cheers for the quotage!


  3. Yeah, number of countries isn't the point. I only mention it because it IS such a difficult to agree figure, which in itself rather highlights how little people seem to know about Africa.

    I regularly hear people talk about africa as though it's one country, ignoring that Egypt is not Zimbabwe is not Nigeria is not Malawi is not South Africa.

    But yeah. What you said made sense.