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. fernace

    Those w/charitable hearts can help at home & abroad! We don't have to pick 1 over the other!!

    March 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John Mooka

    Courage Invisible Children, Inc.
    As a Ugandan I am touched by your incredible out powering of altruism and the commitment to bring this cold blooded monster called Kony to justice. After years of failed attempts and missed opportunities to get Kony end his insane atrocities, one of the very few sledge hammer solutions left is to amass a coalition of global outrage. There is no other better way to do it than the route you have taken. Hope critics would stop looking at you as the culprit and channel their anger towards this man who has no heartless.

    March 11, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Wild uganda safaris

    kony is no more we are now focussing on the good things about uganda other than war, hunger, and instability. For more information we can highlight the good things upon request,

    March 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
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