Kony Scam

Kony2012 posters

Kony2012 posters

Courtney Gilbertson, Staff Writer

On March 6, 2012, a wave of status updates, pictures, and new groups hit Facebook,  all relating to the now-infamous Joseph Kony. The popular video about the leader of the Ugandan guerrilla group (The Lord’s Resistance Army) had viewers inspired and invigorated to take a stand against the horrible man and his gruesome actions.

Many Sea Kings, as well as other people around the world, embraced their newfound passion by purchasing bracelets and donating to the campaign’s parent organization, “Invisible Children.” As genuine as the actions of these students may have been, the organization they were supporting may not be as innocent as the video portrayed it to be. Jason Russell, the founder of Invisible Children, has in reality been playing on the heartstrings of people around the world to increase his own fame and profit.
Jason Russell receives significant compensation and benefits for working in a non-profit organization. His sizeable income is being subtracted from the funds given to help the Ugandans. It seems like Russell has an agenda of his own, aside from stopping Kony.
Also, a large portion of the famous video is devoted to advocating for the purchase of Invisible Children products, including posters that will be used to “Cover the Night” on April 20th. The claimed goal of covering the night is to cover entire cities with KONY posters, which must be purchased through Invisible Children. This sounds like a money scam to me. One flaw that struck me in particular was that the websites are www.invisiblechildren.com and www.kony2012.com. I had to wonder – why are these not .org websites?
To make Russell’s case worse, he has been caught masturbating in public, vandalizing cars, and possibly acting under the influence.  These actions have led to his detainment and hospitalization in a mental facility.  For a man trying to change the world for the better, these incidents do not exactly support his cause.
Although Jason Russell and the Invisible Children are the proponents of a worthy cause, they don’t seem like the best candidates to be at the forefront of the campaign. There are other dedicated organizations that support this movement, and it must also be kept in mind that this is not the only conflict going on in the world. Rather than pouring time and money into spreading awareness through a flawed organization like The Invisible Children, do some research and make sure that the recipient of your work is trustworthy. You would not want to find out that you donated a sum of money to an unstable person who has overly benefitted personally from the donations.

Kony2012 posters