March 9th, 2012
07:22 PM ET

Overheard on Readers debate sudden rise of 'KONY 2012,' online activism

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

An organization called Invisible Children has been aiming to make Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony a household name. He certainly has attracted a good amount of attention. Our readers debated the sudden discussion.

As criticism surfaces, 'KONY 2012' gains momentum faster than Susan Boyle

Some readers were in support of the movement, and they started discussions with other readers.

tinwatchman: "On the one hand, yes, some concerns about the charity funding this. Yes, they seem to be spending an awful lot of money on filmmaking and promotions. On the other hand, the day before yesterday, no one had heard of Joseph Kony. You can fault their methods. But you can't fault their results."

sarahH: "Yes, they are good at making money. People had heard of Kony when he was committing these crimes, it just didn't register because they had more important things to do. They needed a hipster white guy telling them they can change the world by hitting a like button to care. This is progress? Where were you freaks when this was actually happening?"

America314: "Better cause than golden parachutes."

This commenter said they think it is all a fad.

Semi_Auto: "For some reason I feel like this KONY 2012 thing is going to be, like when everybody jumped on the bandwagon after 9/11 and started rocking FDNY hats. This just seems like it going to end up as a pop culture slogan for a moment then be forgotten about. Even if the intent is good it seems like it becoming a catch phrase that people are putting up everywhere to be cool ..."

Some readers thought the concern about Invisible Children was unjustified, but others did not. An extended discussion took place as below.

Cory Waldrop: "All non-profits work this way. These people are spending their lives doing what they think are right. They still have to put a roof over their head and food on the table. If you don't want to donate, then don't but don't critize people that are actually doing something with their life that they feel means something. They are showing us (in detail) everything, they aren't hidding or lying. Again – if you don't believe don't donate... and all your "jokes" need work, because they aren't funny.

jhdale: "The criticism seems a bit irrelevant. No, Invisible Children is not going to solve all the world's problems, nor will they travel back in time to prevent Kony from being born (or to put this video up on YouTube 15 years ago, 8 years before YouTube was created). That doesn't change the fact that the LRA is, in fact, a problem, and IC is doing something about it. Yes, the Ugandan army also has issues. But the Ugandan army is also more subject to political pressure, sanctions, etc. There are existing mechanisms that can be applied to those problems. None of which work for the LRA."

isoceles: "I hear what you are saying and I agree. I just wish this attention would go towards todays issues like what is going on in Syria. I think 67+ people died yesterday and all everyone is talking about is Kony. There is something wrong with that."

jhdale: "Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of picking one problem to focus on at a time. There are many real and severe problems going on at once. Being aware of this one shouldn't make us forget the others - and I agree that what is going on in Syria is certainly a real and severe issue that deserves attention. Although I don't know what the solution is for it."

Now it's your turn. What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Overheard on • Uganda • World
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. leeintulsa

    what sucks is this guy will probably become some kind of cult hero, like charles manson.. and someone's gonna make kony shirts with a silhouette.. and i assume i mispelled that..

    March 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael Martinez

    I know it.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Suncana S. Alvarado

    Please read stories about The Other Invisible Children. Imagine - our state's most vulnerable children, betrayed by a state system that was supposed to protect them - and we have no idea who they are.
    Learn more about them.....Please read their stories. These stories touch the heart of some people, but after the news dies down, it's as if it never happened.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)" Right Wing Insanity

    @ leeintulsa Maybe the name needs to be more humble? Kinda like KONEHEAD2012..he..he.. I don't know 😉

    March 10, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)" Right Wing Insanity

    I breached my own "don't buy gas on Fridays". But I buy premium. $4.09/gal OMG THIER KJILLING ME

    March 10, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      You're grounded, Jeff.
      Give me your keys.
      What kind of car do you drive?

      March 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dreamyarie

    Reblogged this on Dreamyarie and commented:

    March 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    @ Jeff

    Well its $ 4.09 today and we are lucky. Wait till madness goes dancing to Straits of Hormuz . Then it'll be "don't buy gas".

    As for that monster Kony terrorizing people in his 'territory', the world can wait till we signal that its important enough to divert our attention from other 'pressing' matters.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kim

    I believe the debate about how this monster was uncovered is once again making the children invisible and that just thing out of this whole thing. I know there been talk about the children forced to commit horrible crimes for this man he is not a nice person there have been other reports of the horrors that children have endure. He needs to be stopped and brought to justice.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kim

    You can't honestly believe that kony is getting s unfair deal about how he treats people. He is doing all that is being said and probably more it's just took this long for someone to put him on blast I just hope the children really get some help. Once they get rid of this idoit people will no longer see it news worthy and another tyrant will pop up and terrorize the people again. Unless they get serious long term help and a leader for the people and against the terror tactic against the young and there families

    March 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Waldorf Sockbat

    This problem is that countrys problem not ours. Its their fault they live in mud huts and crap out 9 kids per household. Sounds like a "Lord of The Flies" scenario. Dont be mad because u didnt think of it first. Its the same reason kids here join gangs. Sometimes its the only way 2 survive.

    March 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Waldorf Sockbat

    Oh yeah- BUMBLE BEE TUNA!

    March 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RUFFNUTT (( 1/2 5th level magic-using kender ,1/4 illusionist ,1/4 warrior ))

    ba ba ba banana phone....

    March 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. fernace

    There's a reason we've revised & changed our ideas, mindset & social interaction from the 1900th century or even the 50's! If we're smart we live & learn, technology brings us the world & we now have access to info we didn't in the past! Since we do have info about genocidal & sadistic dictators/regimes, should we just turn our backs & say "...we didn't used to get involved in every civil unrest in the world..."!? I'm not advocating use of our military, but the word must go out that the world community as a whole, will not support or condone this type of behavior! If you're a leader who beats, degrades, tortures & kills his citizens, you're on notice! Clean up your act according to the UN Human Rights Act, or step down peacefully! I mean would any of us tolerate a wifebeating, child abusing neighbor, w/out calling the cops & getting involved! This is the same thing, on a global scale! More power to internet activism!!

    March 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bl4ck0utsUn

    I grew up in the mid-west! I was 22yo before I had ever encountered a homeless person! Where I live now I see them daily! Not just adults but children, children here surviving on garbage, living under bridges, right here in the good'old United States! The US is the most charitable counry in the entire world, but we prefer helping invisible children and families half a world away, instead of our own neighbors? People say the homeless in the US are just "lazy." But everyone complains about the job shortages, we look down on the poor, and homeless and wouldn't give them a job even if they applied! If Americans really give a crap, help here first!

    March 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    While I agree charity starts at home, we can't compare our poor w/people who never have access to work, a paycheck, healthcare, any type of normal life, because their leaders are beyond corrupt! They become refugees, just excisting, or they die or become automatons because of the regime that subjugates & torments them! Our system just needs fixing & we the people, still have power to get that done in our nation! Disenfranchised nations have no such system to fall back on! They have never known such concepts as peace & everyday life! When the economy stabilizes, homeless Americans will find work, people living under dictatorships have no hope for any normality! Big difference! I think we can help our homeless & also care about people whose regimes need ousting or overhaul! We are the Human Race & we have to have eachothers backs! If we don't, who will!?

    March 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
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