Was the attention on the Kony 2012 campaign justified?

Apr 3, 2012

Guest post by Kentaro Toyama

For a couple of weeks, Kony 2012 stole the spotlight in international development. It dominated conversation, with some applauding its success as an awareness-raising campaign (e.g., Nicholas Kristof); some criticizing it for its oversimplified, condescending, self-gratifying portrayal of the issues (e.g., Teju Cole); and many grumbling along the lines of, “Who are these punks who managed to get so much attention and funding?”

These are all important questions, but they miss the real issue that Kony 2012 raises — namely, how we as a society prioritize important issues in the age of Internet social media.

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