The anti-LRA video that went viral

From Global development | The Guardian Mon Dec 31 2012, 09:00:01

A video about the Lord's Resistance Army used limited resources with verve and imagination to make a big impact

Identifying the Kony 2012 campaign among the innovations that changed global development over the past year might seem perverse. After all, what started out in March as a viral video campaign highlighting the atrocities of the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony culminated, a month later, with a failed attempt to translate digital activism into real-life action. Factor in charges that the campaign was oversimplified, inaccurate and reinforced media stereotypes about Africa - not to mention the well-publicised problems experienced by film-maker Jason Russell - and it could be argued the whole thing was a disaster.

Yet how many other development-related interventions had a comparable impact on the popular consciousness in 2012? The Kony 2012 documentary has now been viewed more than 100m times on video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Along the way, it has usefully claimed numerous high-profile supporters, from Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates. As a result, Kony, the Lord's Resistance Army, child soldiers and ...

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