Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies


Before I get into the creation of the movement, I am going to write about the individual that was targeted in the Kony 2012 campaign, Joseph Kony. Kony was born in 1961 and is well known as being the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (ECB). He considers himself a “prophet” and used his status to manipulate children to join his cause and his rebellion against the Ugandan government (ECB). He has committed war atrocities such as recruiting children to be soldiers, ordering his subordinates to rape, murder, and mutilate innocent villagers that were not involved in the Ugandan Civil War (ECB). Due to this atrocities, the International Criminal Court in the Hague (the Netherlands executive location) issued its first arrest warrants (Green 11). According to these arrest warrants, he was responsible for 10,000 murders and the abduction of 24,000 children (ECB). These arrest warrants revealed Kony to the world and he was put into scrutiny. These arrest warrants were issued in 2005, but he was not arrested. After seven years of Kony still being a free man and continuing committing atrocities, and organization decided to unleash a social media campaign to influence world leaders to expedite the arrest.
That organization is call the Invisible Children, Inc.  In the “Our Story” section of their website, three filmmakers: Jason, Bobby, and Lauren went to East Africa to look for a story, but “they found more than that.” They met Jacob, a child soldier who escaped the LRA and he was also mourning for his brother, who was murdered by LRA (Our Story). The website declared that they “would do everything they could to stop Kony and end the war. So they made the first of many films that would spread the word about the war nobody knew about.”
The most important and popular movie that launched the Kony 2012 was published on video website YouTube on March 5, 2012. The video went viral where people were sharing the video on Facebook or tweeted the video on Twitter. The video which is titled "Kony 2012" which  as of typing this has 101,142,620 views. “Kony 2012” chronicles Jason Russell and the organization he is part, Invisible Children, Inc.’s efforts to have Joseph Kony arrested. Russell’s call to action to get Kony arrested is to make him famous. Russell claims that not everybody knows who Joseph Kony is and if his name and his atrocities are known, people are going to participate. Observing the video, it shows that people from different countries coming together to bring awareness to Kony’s war crimes and force world leaders to make Kony’s arrest the number one priority. The the organization of the Invisible Children, Inc. demonstrates that it is vertical. They are seven board members who are essentially lead the organization, then they are people in the lower rungs who are in charge of different aspects of the organization. For example, Clemente Loutemboli’s title is “Civil Society Project Assistant, Central African Republic.” Loutemboli’s mini-bio and job description states: He comes from Mboki, Central African Republic (CAR). He worked for another NGO, as a Protection Officer, before joining IC in 2012. He joined IC because of our Protection Program for the victims of the LRA, and he is now responsible for the Protection Programs we have in the CAR.” Unfortunately, the Kony 2012 was not really a success and that is what I am going to examine in my Analysis. Also, I am going to look at how Kony 2012 used social media to get their message across and see how people participated in the movement.

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