Whatever happened to Kony 2012?

Searching for weblinks for the breaking news section of Sydneyanglicans.net means that I have to wade through a fair bit of the internet.

I normally check anywhere between 60 to 100 sites everyday.  Hopefully, that saves you busy people having to do it and it sheds some light on what the media is saying about Christians and Christian issues.

But it also means I have to wade through a fair bit of the Internet version of manure. From the trivia that news sites are now obsessed with to the latest Internet fads.

It set me thinking. Whatever happened to Kony 2012? Did anyone turn out for their night of outrage? It seems like it was everywhere one minute and gone the next.

I know the internet audience has the attention span of a gnat but given the weighty issue I thought it might have lasted a bit longer than that.

It was not even a month from the original video to the 'Cover the night' events which attracted paltry crowds.

I'm surprised the net is not full of post mortems.

Someone tweeted that the silence is "muted embarrassment from prior supporters, mixed with quiet smugness from detractors". 

That may be so, but here's my top 5 lessons from the Kony debacle.

1. Truth matters. All the video said was true, six years ago. But the Kony bird had flown and when people found that out, support melted.

2. Emotion doesn't translate into action. The video was well done, even manipulative, but a few minutes of emotion on the net soon vanishes. 

3. 100 million hits on You Tube doesn't mean much. After all, 'Charlie bit my finger' has had 400 million hits so far.

4. For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. Within 24 hours, the joke sites and the satire started to appear. In the first blush it was trendy to be pro-Kony 2012, then it was trendy to be cynical about it.

5. The video was based around the founder, Jason Russell and when he fell, the whole deck of cards fell.

All that is not to say there weren't some things achieved by the Kony meteor.

To bring attention to the needs of Africa's next generation is surely better than having people stare at 'David after the dentist'. 

It's just a shame it didn't go any further.

 

 

 

Russell Powell has more than 30 years experience across all forms of media, with a long career as one of Australian radio's most prominent journalists and presenters. He was one of the pioneers of the ABC's NewsRadio network. As well as his on-air work, he has taught at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School. He is now the CEO of Anglican Media Sydney and the Archbishop of Sydney's Media Adviser.

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