Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012: When institutionalizing an idea leads to its demise

KONY 2012: When institutionalizing an idea leads to its demise

When you get your Facebook and email flooded with the KONY2012 videos and articles, you realize shit has just got serious. Massive posts and sharing of the KONY2012 short documentary has indeed stirred countless responses, mostly favorable, yet a frantic minority has been calling out for a conspiracy.

Follows the video widely widespread on the net and massively shared on Facebook:

The message is clear, concise and appealing, making full use of the influence and persuasion technics of any media campaign. Yet, any propaganda opts for the same mechanisms of propagation and massive distribution, making more than one raise an eyebrow as to what are the real incentives behind the KONY2012 organizational and promotional group.

Why questioning? Well, the numbers speak for themselves! Millions of dollars channeled throughout the globe through donations and purchases of different solidarity kits and gadgets, ranging from bracelets, to shirts and posters.  These millions of dollars are fueling the efforts which made the KONY2012 such a successful social media offensive, yet the virtual nature of the campaigns main feature brings to the spotlight several critics concerning the budget allocation and spending.

I will quote here the website

Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal for an issue which arguably needs action and aid, not awareness, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they lack an external audit committee. But it goes way deeper than that.

The budgetary management is far from being a regulated financial source and the lack of transparency and audit further advances the theory of mal practice and financial frauds.

Yet, financial opacity is not the key concern raised about the KONY2012 campaign. The political implications are far outweighing any financial considerations indeed. A US military intervention, be it through logistical support, military advisory personnel or through actual ground intervention with American troops, stirs enormous concerns on the incentive behind a military participation and the potential implications of such acts on the US interests.

The Political profile of the supporters of the KONY2012 campaign inside the corridors of the congress can easily be drawn. The video displays the 12 political figures the campaign intends to motivate towards a military intervention, and not surprisingly, the republicans are at the forefront of the little congress battalion ready to fight for a humanitarian intervention, as they did in Iraq and elsewhere.