By Kayla Overbey
Friday, March 9, 2012
On Monday, March 5th, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter all started receiving spam comments titled “KONY 2012”. The non-profit organization Invisible Children posted a video about Ugandan indicted criminal Joseph Kony, and his “crimes against humanity.” The video started gaining attention immediately, and now Americans across the nation are in an uproar. However, some students at the University of Kansas are unsure about what’s happening, or why it’s happening now. For some, the video and its responses are creating more questions than concerns.
On Monday, March 5th, the non-profit organization Invisible Children released a video about Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony. University of Kansas students are both strongly in favor and wary of the cause. The video about his crimes went viral almost overnight and has some students confused.
“I saw the stuff for the Kony campaign last night. Still not really sure what’s it’s all about,” said Taylor Genrich, KU student from Lincoln, Neb. “I know it’s something with the invisible children. There’s a lot of Facebook buzz and Twitter buzz happening, though.”
Some students are frustrated by the mass posts and spam-like nature of the campaign. The immediate responses on Facebook left KU student Beth Buchanan from Kansas City, Kan. critical of college students.
“Facebook is such a wildfire that everyone just blindly posts and it’s easy for students to be like, ‘Oh, I support this cause, I’m educated, I’m making a difference by spreading this word.’ But it’s one thing to watch a video, and it’s a completely other thing to be educated on foreign policy and be educated on what is going on in other countries,” Buchanan said.
Students across campus have already jumped to action by means of Facebook. Allen Schaidle, KU student and activity leader of the KU chapter of Invisible Children from Peoria, Ill., explained that he is in support of the cause and is excited about the eager attitude of the student body. He said that the Invisible Children organization wants to handle all campus events itself.
“Already I know there’s been a couple events started for this,” Schaidle said. “But the president of the KU group of the Invisible Children is asking for those events to be shut down and all the focus be directed toward the Invisible Children group.”
The history of Joseph Kony, and many leaders similar to him, is not short. Genrich said she isn’t surprised by how quickly the word has spread over the past week, but wishes the news could have been publicized and gained such popularity sooner.
“So, I think it’s not surprising because we do have that technology,” Genrich said. “I think it’s surprising because it has been going on for so long. You’d think something would have been done, but with a lot of issues like this, nothing ever actually happens.”
To watch the Kony 2012 campaign video, click here and scroll down