Timothy Longman on Why Kony 2012 Failed
By Andrew Thurston
“There are three things you can do right now,” urged the web movieKony 2012. Premiered by the nonprofit organization Invisible Children in March 2012, the powerful 30-minute documentary lobbied for Ugandan guerilla leader and indicted war criminal Joseph Kony to be brought to justice. To play your part in taking down this scourge of central Africa, you could sign a pledge, buy a bracelet and action kit, and donate a few dollars.
The film went viral. School kids started Kony groups; senators called for his arrest. Within six days of its release, Kony 2012 had been viewed 100 million times. But despite its virtual surge, the video appeared to have less of a sustained real-world effect—Joseph Kony welcomed in 2013 as a free man.