KONY 2012 video whips up social media firestorm
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social powerhouses spread the word and create viral pheno
Computerworld - A 30-minute video about an African warlord and his army blasted its way onto the Internet this week, lighting up social networks like Facebook and Twitter and becoming a YouTube phenomenon.
The controversial video, dubbed KONY 2012, has racked up nearly 57 million viewings on YouTube since it was first uploaded on March 5. More than 1 million people have "liked" the video, and about 50,000 have "disliked" it.
The spread of the video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army, is all about the power of social networking, analysts say.
"Social networks are incredibly powerful and carry a lot of weight in forming public opinion," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group.
"Children being pressed into battle, forced to fight a brutal guerilla war is something that everyone in the civilized world is obviously against. But portray that story in a compelling way on YouTube and publicize it via social media and you have a worldwide firestorm of interest," Olds added.
The video shines a light on alleged atrocities, including the murder of Ugandan citizens and the forcing of children into slavery or the military, by Kony and his army over 20 years or more.
The KONY 2012 video was created by Invisible Children, a San Diego-based nonprofit group.
Soon after the video was posted on Monday, there was a surge of people sharing it with friends and followers on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
And then some big social guns weighed in.
Media mogul and television host Oprah Winfrey, who has more than 9.6 million Twitter followers, posted tweets about the video and the cause several times this week. "How many times do you need to see children slaughtered to believe it's real? #STOPKONY," Winfrey tweeted.
Microsoft co-founder and global philanthropist Bill Gates jumped into the conversation, tweeting, "Good to see such strong interest in #stopkony - a key step to helping those most vulnerable," to his more than 5,600,000 followers.
The efforts bore fruit quickly.
On Tuesday, the video producer's posted on the Invisible Children's Facebook page, "You guys are making Kony famous, and you're breaking the internet."
Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, said in an interview on MSNBC that the organization had to close its online store because they were out of merchandise.
However, the spotlight of social media attention also led to a fair amount of criticism for the video as well as the filmmakers.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- IDC Report: The Future of eMail is Social This paper discusses the changing nature of collaboration and work fueled by the social Web by examining current email trends and the emergence...
- The Business of Social Business Social business represents a significant transformational opportunity for organizations. Read this whitepaper to learn more.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Cybersecurity Imperatives Reinvent Your Network Security With Palo Alto Networks The Rise of CyberSecurity
- Supercharge Your Web and Mobile App Development with High-Productivity Hybrid Cloud Webinar: Hear from industry experts about the amazing power at the intersection of next-generation web and mobile application development and cloud platforms.
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have. All Internet White Papers | Webcasts