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Websites > Please read this before supporting Invisible Children!

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message 1: by Riley (new)

Riley (rixosink) We got trouble.
For those asking what you can do to help, please link to wherever you see KONY 2012 posts. And tweet a link to this page to famous people on Twitter who are talking about KONY 2012!

I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.

KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’m not alone.

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal for an issue which arguably needs action and aid, not awareness, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they lack an external audit committee. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. These books each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on supporting African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.

As Chris Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”

Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children supports military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children is now focusing on military intervention.

Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re supporting the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.

Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on supporting ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.

If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.

~ Grant Oyston

Grant Oyston is a sociology and political science student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can help spread the word about this by linking to his blog at anywhere you see posts about KONY 2012.

Please do not email Grant except to provide alternative causes, or with media requests, as I am no longer able to read emails (which I’m receiving at a rate of over 1000 an hour).

Please read this before just supporting Invisible Children after watching the video.

message 2: by E.J. (new)

E.J. (EJSchoenborn) | 48 comments I support the stop of Kony as i said in the Welcome area, NOT Invisible Children.

message 3: by Hanna[h] (new)

Hanna[h] Cumberbatch (AndTheTheyBuriedMeMummble) | 44 comments I still support IC. I mean first off the link is from Tumblr, a website where ANYONE can post ANYTHING. So unless they have a work cite then it's pretty much useless(not proven) it's like using Wiki but kinda worse...

Also, what do you expect? Of course they can't give ALL that money to Africa. They plan meetings, meet important people, get supplies for all that stuff they're selling AND they have a bunch of workers to give money to. What do you think that they're all millionaires where those braceletes come out of their asses?(excuse me).

In the end, they are STILL giving them SOME money to stop it, but they never even promised to send them money. What they wanted was for America to know that it's affecting their citizens and do something about it. I mean if they said,"Half of the money we make goes to Uganda" then okay, they lied and you CAN sue and get like a gazilion dollars for false advertisement.

In the end, I think you guys just expected WAY more then what was even possible, stuff that they themselfs never even promised. Sorry, guys :/

message 4: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Thanks for informing me of that, Riv.

I was a bit suspicious of the video, though, because frankly it seemed like a big mush of propaganda and I don't like propaganda...

Anyways, I definitely feel that Kony is a bad person and I want to stop him from doing worse, but I don't really support the organization Invisible Children.

message 5: by Kaye (new)

Kaye  (CarryMeAway) | 77 comments Me either, but Kony needs taken down... and it's up to us to do it... why should these children suffer when one day it could be our children, what if it was our children, who would save them? who would step up to the plate?

message 6: by Brandon (new)



message 7: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Oh, and about the Ugandan military raping and looting etc, if you think about it American soldier do similar. American soldiers burned the bloody koran, for god's sake, that's plain disrespectful. But I suppose they aren't as bad, but many of these Ugandans are uneducated and plain ignorant and the do whatever they want.

All we need is a land without borders, without religions, without hate. Just love. It is 4:00 in the morning and I am super creative and inspired late at night so...g'bye. XD I suppose it is technically morning.

message 8: by Hanna[h] (new)

Hanna[h] Cumberbatch (AndTheTheyBuriedMeMummble) | 44 comments Lol I don't care those soulders can burn the Koran all they want!!

By the way I'm Muslim and the proper way to dispose of a Koran is burning it(: just sothen I dint get a bunch if hate comments lol.

But Seriously, how the heck do you guys expect IC to give out ALL their money to Uganda?? It's not that easy. YOU try makig a huge orginization an giving all your money to whoever it is when YOUR also making a crap load of stuff like tshirts and posters and running around from Africa to America to who knows where, AND monthly pay checks to workers who I don't know could be HUNDREDS. What do you guys expect?!?

Lol if you guys did research you would know that there is probably NO orginization that gives 100% of their money to their people. Most people that work in the orginization have that as their only job. You saw the video the guy has a family to look after!

Save yourselfs before saving others.

message 9: by Tatum (new)

Tatum (TatieTheHatie) Yeah....A lot of money usually goes to transportation and campaigning.
And they are giving money to Uganda. And I'm glad they arent just focusing it all on Uganda! If they didn't they wouldn't be able to get the word ouut!

Like kids all around the world. Their money helped make that video. And where would we be without the video? We would probably not even have ever known.

message 10: by Hanna[h] (new)

Hanna[h] Cumberbatch (AndTheTheyBuriedMeMummble) | 44 comments Thank you Tat!

I mean, IC isn't just for the chudren in Uganda, it's for THE WORLD. They're just focusing on Kony this year. We should hear from them more. I mean obviously they have to advertise! If they didn't I garantee you that this group would have been dead and it would have taken like months to get 15 members.

You guys are asking for WAY TOO MUCH. I mean seriously that person could be me behind that Tumblr account! And he doesn't have a work cited!! And if you guys knew that then you would know that's the way to do a proper paper/essay/blog to get ACTUAL PROVEN FACTS. Not Tumblr!! It's just like using wiki!

message 11: by Hanna[h] (new)

Hanna[h] Cumberbatch (AndTheTheyBuriedMeMummble) | 44 comments Also, when that guy mentions how it's like advertising Breast Cancer, it isn't like they do it to get money! They take SOME of that money and give it to people so they can FIND a cure! They're trying!! It just shows how that guy doesn't know anything.

"What's the point of Breast cancer awarness if we can't do anything about it?" This guy's expecting after one commerical to have a cure. It can take YEARS. At least IC is trying to finish it off my the year.

message 12: by Kaye (new)

Kaye  (CarryMeAway) | 77 comments look... this isnt about anything else, i think it would be smart if people just cooled thier jets and stop complaining about world peace, religion, and your daily life, it isnt about that... stop being selfish and just think of ways to help...

message 13: by Riley (new)

Riley (rixosink) As stated, it goes deeper than the money. These guys are defending people who have done similar things to Kony-- not on the scale he has, but they're still defending looting and child rape. And the leader of Uganda, of the military, that they're giving power too used a child army himself to get into power. And using military forces to try and stop Kony is going, you're just going to end up with more dead children. Yes, it may be the only way, but they should be focused more on how to actually go about stopping him without having to kill children.

And you can't say it's not proven-- Have you clicked on any of the links yourself? Have you gone to IC’s website and done some deep-down research? Or maybe on the Ugandan military and history? Or on any of the links given? You have a keyboard. Look some stuff up. And technically, it they had another site, that wouldn't make official by your standards, because technically anyone can post anything anywhere.
On another note don't go insulting Wikipedia. They do an extremely excellent job of moderating new information. So no, you can't post anything there. And have you looked the guy who wrote it up?

As for the Breast Cancer Awareness, his point is yeah, now we're all aware, but that's not really helping the scientists, is it? I mean, what can we personally do to help cure breast cancer? Unless after hearing the campaign you go, ‘Ah, I'm going to study medicine and look for a cure the rest of my life!’ then being aware isn't doing anything much.

And yes, he does have actual proven facts. If you'd like to point out a few you don't think are legit, I'll find links, thanks.

As for the money again, neither I nor him are focusing on that as much as you are. We never said we expected all of the money to go to Uganda.
As stated before, that's not such a good thing.

And look, I really don't have anything against you still supporting IC, as long as you know these facts.

message 14: by Riley (new)

Riley (rixosink) Brandon wrote: "Thanks for informing me of that, Riv.

I was a bit suspicious of the video, though, because frankly it seemed like a big mush of propaganda and I don't like propaganda...

Anyways, I definitely fee..."

No problem.




message 15: by Kaye (new)

Kaye  (CarryMeAway) | 77 comments the children are brainwashed, told to believe something, there is never peace without death...

Beautiful Cheese (Celine) (ZeeLazyBum) | 9 comments Brandon wrote: "NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!


Our main weapons are surprise, surprise and fear.

message 17: by Riley (new)

Riley (rixosink) So you're saying they should go ahead and just kill the children? Who they should be trying to protect?

The money should be going to the victims! Trying to help them! You saw the conditions in the video-- they should be focusing on that. And other victims. There's no plan on what they're going to do with the child army once they capture Kony.

message 18: by Kaye (new)

Kaye  (CarryMeAway) | 77 comments no i'm saying there will be casualties.... no one comes out of something like that unscatched.... i agree the money should go to the victims... making schools, rebuilding villages... and i'm not saying to kill them all... im not a monster... i believe in rehibilitation... you heard the video... jacob wanted to die... those children soldiers are killing, mutilating, and destrying people... can you even begin to imagine the nightmares they would have? if jacob,a refugee wanted to die, then what will those children do to escape... jump in front of a bullet? i would... i'm saying that this cannot happen without people dying... i'd go out on the front lines to help them if i could... risk my own life so those kids could live... i'm just tring not to be blind to the fact that people will die... and each should be granted the title of martyr...

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Official response from the Invisible Children about certain bad posts about them on the Internet.

gяαffιтι *яαωя яαωя* qυєєи (myhandinyours) I'm gonna say one thing since I'm in class
I'll donate to them once $15 as get the pack
I want Kony caught, I am a child so my morals could be stupid.
I'm fine with who ever wants him caught, even IC. After he is caught
I will not support IC anymore unless they go good.

message 21: by Riley (new)

Riley (rixosink) You can do other things to help stop him besides donating to IC. You can write the government or donate to other central African charities. You can still spread the word without helping IC. And I don't blame you and I'm not against you if you do support IC.

gяαffιтι *яαωя яαωя* qυєєи (myhandinyours) I want a bracket xD
I'm one of those people who doesn't make sense for my motives ._.

message 23: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) I'm glad the Ginger-god is here to enlighten us. ^_^

ℂᖺαᖇᒪἷ℮ ⊰1017 &Tardis⊱ (Charlie_Awesome) I am very aware of the problems with IC's campaign. But as a teen, I know that NO ONE in my school gives a ----- about current events. And if something likes this makes them aware of all the things that are wrong in the world, I'm willing to spread the word. But I won't give them my money.

message 25: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Amen! Most teens only care about superficial stuff but I cry myself to sleep thinking about all that is fucked up in the world.

message 26: by Sᴀᴅɪʏᴀ (new)

Sᴀᴅɪʏᴀ I support IC. But I can't really send them money 'cause I'm not allowed to unless I give it in the hand of a person, which isn't possible. But logically it makes sense how only a certain amount goes to Uganda.

IC isn't just for Uganda but a lot of Central Africa too, so money goes there too. Then there's the cost of actually going there, spreading the word, meeting officials etc etc. So if even 30% or so is going there that's ok, because the Campaign is spending money on a lot of other stuff to get it there! If that makes sense.

ℂᖺαᖇᒪἷ℮ ⊰1017 &Tardis⊱ (Charlie_Awesome) Brandon wrote: "Amen! Most teens only care about superficial stuff but I cry myself to sleep thinking about all that is fucked up in the world."

I'm glad there's a couple others out there like me

message 28: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) :)

message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 08, 2012 04:09PM) (new)

kay guys so I read the article, and then i found the link to IC's resonse:
now I am not donating to IC because I'm still not sure if their way of doing things is perfect, but I DO believe their hearts are in the right place.
I think that the KONY 2012 campaign is the perfect way to adress this though.
By sharing this information and making teens like us aware of what is happening in the world, we are forcing the government to do something about it.
When this is all we're talking about, they won't be able to just ignore the issue! they'll have to do something!
People my age are so oblivious to everything around them, and i agree 100% with brandon and Charlie when they say that the things our generation cares about are so useless, so unimportant, it's depressing.
And the fact thet IC has made my peers aware of the world and aware of the fact that WE CAN DO SOMETHING, it's time for us to rise up and realize that the current generation is dying, and it's time for us to step up to the plate. They say that we're supposed to learn how to live in the real world in school. Well, NEWSFLASH, this IS the real world. And you can either lay back and ignore all the horror around you, or you can take these oppertunities that are handed to you and you can CHANGE THE WORLD.
Something has to be done about this. I can't just sit here. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.

ℂᖺαᖇᒪἷ℮ ⊰1017 &Tardis⊱ (Charlie_Awesome) Thank you, that was very good

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

thank you.

message 32: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Stop saying thank you! It's driving me ;)

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

thank you. ;)

message 34: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) GAH!

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

haha sorry... :)

message 36: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) It's okay, lol.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

thank you. XD

message 38: by Hanna[h] (new)

Hanna[h] Cumberbatch (AndTheTheyBuriedMeMummble) | 44 comments Riven- Seriously? Okay, please tell me a way to capture Kony without killing A SINGLE member of his army. Please do tell, I'm sure that you have something way better then what IC has come up with since your so against them.

Second, ask any teacher or adult, wiki is NOT the website to go to because anyone can post anything. Yes, for fun simple research use Wiki by all means, but if your serious about your research using wiki is a stupid move, and I can GARANTEE you that many people will agree with me. Tumblr is even worse, it's just like fb and myspace, there can be frauds.

message 39: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) :P You're welcome.

message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with Hana on Wiki and Tumblr. If you want people to take you seriously and have good eveidence to support your claim, use a website that we can actually rely on.

message 41: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) This just makes my head hurt but I take everything I've heard with a grain of salt and I believe Invisible Children have good intentions but they aren't going to solve the problem.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

No, IC aren't going to solve the problem, and donating to them won't do hardly anything. But that doesn't mean that WE can't do anything.

message 43: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Ƙȧƴȧ wrote: "I agree with Hana on Wiki and Tumblr. If you want people to take you seriously and have good eveidence to support your claim, use a website that we can actually rely on."

The man who posted that on Tumblr is apparently a credible source so why should the format of what he posted it on change anything?

message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm just saying that IN GENERAL, Wiki and Tumblr aren't the best resources.

message 45: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Hmm.

message 46: by [deleted user] (new)


message 47: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) What? By hmmm I meant "Oh, got it, I know what you mean."

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

oh okay. sorry it's hard to discern your tone over the internet, you know?

message 49: by Brandon (new)

Brandon (mmiiaaooww) Haha, yeah.

message 50: by King JT (new)

King JT (easymoneysniper) | 25 comments But what matters is stopping him and making him famous

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