back to article Facebook's viral activism is really good... for admen

Normally I hang out on Facebook for casual conversation with friends and family. But not last night. Last night I settled down to browse Facebook to discover that Kony 2012 had overrun Facebook, turning it into a maelstrom of "Watch this now!" and subsequent feelings of having done something noble. One minute they were LOL'ing …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over run....

    ... I spent quite a bit of time just flagging them as spam....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      having comitted

      Facebook suicide last year I now have a life!

      This no longer affects me.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find this Facebook activism very disturbing.

    You have the ones that start going on about how many soldiers died whenever a celebrity dies, and how disgusting it is, and the ones that go on about how much soldiers get paid whenever a footballer hits the headlines (the sentiments on those are right, but the "You'll either repost/like this, or you're against our soldiers" attitude isn't..

    You've got the ones that start posting things about immigration whenever some racial tension hits the headlines

    You've got the ones that repost all the hatefilled, emotional stuff about child abuse whenever that comes to the forefront. And the animal cruelty ones too.

    None of it helps anyone, but I often feel that the people posting it come off as smug, aggressive and display an attitude of "you're with us or against us"... which I really don't like.

    Anonymous, cause I don't want to be accused of being "against them".

    1. LarsG


      Is even worse, full of middle class know it alls.

    2. Matt Asay

      I knew it! You really *are* "against them"!

      :-) I spent the first few hours totally annoyed that I couldn't weed the Stop Kony! posts out of my news stream fast enough. But it was only later that I realized what a powerful lesson it was in how to coordinate a social media campaign.

      Which isn't to say that these are any more likable, even if effective.

      I personally feel that the way to do social media is through nuanced conversation, not hitting people over the head with a blunt message. But maybe that's why I'm not the one with millions of Stop Kony! views....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There may be some noble sentiments behind some of them but mostly it amounts to emotional blackmail chain-spam. Basically the "if you don't repost this you're a heartless *****" in just the same vein as the old "if you don't send this letter to 20 of your friends your family will die"

      There's also so much of this now that the really genuine ones that *may* be worthwhile or do some good get lost in the noise...

      AC for much the same reason as above :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        warning dont read this

        you will die at midnight if you don't water the cantaloupe harvest.

        this is real its writen by a ghost and did i mention the ghost came

        from a girl who died. you will be haunted by a real professional

        post this to all of the people and i will spare your cantaloupe

        harvest this time but i promise you will be haunted severely bad

    4. Mark 65

      Given he's been around doing this for 20 years the Project Kony dribble on Facebook is one of the best examples of the web 2.0 Echo/Ego-chamber in action. Cue the "celebrities" adding their 2 cents - if they actually gave a fuck they'd take a note of current affairs and get their heads out of their own arses long enough to actually make a difference. All credit to celebrities that do actually make a genuine and heartfelt effort rather than stepping onto the latest bandwagon.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is the obligitory oil connection

    Make what you will of this ...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I shared the video

    But I'm not donating to Invisible Children.

    I shared it because sure this has been going on for years and there are questions about the charity, but it's the first time I've seen a name/face put to these crimes.

    The very fact this guy is getting a light shined upon him may make him a vigilante target on whichever beach or resort he's probably kicking back on right now. That in turn might make others like him think twice.

    And regardless of the legitimacy of this charity, we all agree that this is happening - therefore it's a rather cynical to say, well ignore the cause they're going on about, but learn something for your next marketing campaign...

    Imagine if Google tried to run with "Look at these poor Foxconn workers who are employed by Apple... download Google Play today!" That's essentially what the article is saying.

  5. Van

    Warlords in Africa for 20 years? or 100s ?

  6. multipharious

    facebook Causes (DOA)

    Millions of Likes, and only $20k raised. Oh go f%ck off. Truly. Each person cares enough to click Like but not enough to give more than an average of a penny per person? Not even a tenth of a penny. Good Lord, not even a hundreth of a penny with 10 million Likes. That's the ultimate hypocrisy. Sort of like, "OMG, like, I *totally* care...but not enough to give less than the value of the extra napkin that I will throw away."

    1. Yag
      Thumb Up

      Re: facebook Causes (DOA)

      Dear Sir, you deserve far more than only 5 upvotes...

    2. Lallabalalla
      Thumb Down

      Re: facebook Causes (DOA)

      Slacktivists suck even worse than slcktivism itself. IMO. And I don't care who know I said that, they can kiss my @$$ :)

  7. a_been

    WTF is going on here!

    Fuck me sideways, Matt produces an article that isn't bullshit! He then very annoyingly point out how a charity (there are many of them doing the same shit, WWF springs to mind) spends most of it's income looking after itself and very little on being a charity.

    I was fully expecting to come here, read some ill thought piece of rambling rubbish and blame myself for giving "Open ... and Shut" one last try. Now I can't do that :(

    I almost feel like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes.

  8. jungle_jim

    what scares me

    is the amount of people that watched the video and took it as gospel.

    i post something to question the video and there is public (fb) outrage.

    "but the video said...."

    THAT scares me

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Will of the People

      Nothing new here. The tabloid press has been doing it for decades:

      1: Politician, newspaper proprietor & arms dealer decide over a round of golf what they want to happen [let's say "invade the Isle of Man" for the LOLz]

      2: Proprietor begins sensationalist campaign in that part of the media aimed at the 'hard of thinking'; "Manx government to make paedophilia compulsory!", "Isle of Man developing weapons of mass destruction!", "Incubator destroying computer virus linked to Manx IP addresses!"... etc. etc.

      3: Hard-of-thinking readership drag themselves away from Celebrity X-Brother on Ice long enough to form opinions; "It's bleedin' ridiculous, innit! Them fuckin' Manxes is killin' babies and goin to put nuclear bombs on FaceBook! It's diss-gus-tink!"

      4: hard-of-thinking demand 'gummint' take action

      5: Politician condemns Manx regime and calls on them to come to the negotiating table whilst claiming we don't want to interfere in their "internal affairs"

      6: If $amount_of_people_outraged < $majority_of_braindead_electorate then $press_hysteria++ goto 2 else:

      7: Politician makes hand-wringing, onion-in-hankie speech, regretting that Manx government's intransigence has left the "free world" with no other options.

      8: Buy more shares in arms dealing friend's company "Slaughterignia Solutions"

      9: War

      10: Profit

      11: Trebles all round!

      ...And the really great thing is, you can repeat this procedure every five years or so, 'ad infinitum' and never get caught out, because you're only giving 'the people' what they've been clamouring for

  9. niksad8

    whats happening in africa is tribalism gone horribly wrong. People like kony are a lot like politicians they will represent a paricular interest group in this case a particular tribe. You have to understand children are kidnapped not cause they are children but because they are children of the opposing tribe. In these kind of situations its usually multiple warlords all representing their own tribes that fight for control. If kony dies the tribe that he supports will be butchered and enslaved as revenge. We saw this happen a while back in libya and recently in kenya. This is mordern day shaka zulu only in the old days they used spears and bow arrow now a days its machetis and ak47. The best way to solve this confict is stop the god damn arms trade, there is a reason these wars continue cause someone is peofitting from it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kony 2012 - the litmus test for hypocrites and imbeciles

    Watch 30 minute video, become social activist.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ever since I deliberately ran a pipe from this huge tanker marked "International Effluent Supplies" into my house, I'm finding it really difficult to interact with my family and friends like I used to, as every room is filling up with foul smelling sludge.

    Oh noes! Why won't somebody fix it for me?

  12. Andrew Moore

    Old news...

    When the whole 'Kony' thing started I was thinking 'hang on- wasn't this news 10 years ago?"

  13. NDT

    There's hope for the teenagers, yet...

    My niece falls in that teenage/young adult demographic being targeted by the video, but she has also been to Uganda doing voluntary work this past year. It is interesting and heartening to see her speaking out and urging her friends to do some simple research, rather than just having a knee-jerk like-and-repost reaction. Her admonishment that "Google is your friend!" carries its own baggage, I grant you, but then again hers is also a message well-targeted to her fellow teenagers: if you're going to be lazy and get your information from the internet, at least try to get multiple sources.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prepare for a long rant

    Why won't any Journalist state the patently obvious about this "Kony2012" viral marketing ?

    This is very sophisticated domestic political propaganda targeted at the 2012 US elections.

    (You'll notice a lot of Obama-esque election imagery in the video)

    So think about it logically...

    1. In February 2012 The US and EU threaten economic sanctions against Uganda and a withdrawal of military ties if it passes the very popular Anti-Homosexuality law (described by Barack Obama as "odious" ).

    2. In March 2012 the Kony2012 viral marketing campaign starts calling for military advisors to stay in Uganda to "stop Kony" and to "save the children".

    (you'll notice in the video they don't mention why US military advisors are being pulled out of Uganda)

    3. Obviously if sanctions are enacted against Uganda, Obama will be seen (in an election year) as having sacrificed black children to appease the gay lobby.

    "InvisibleChildren" are a front organization for Evangelical Pentecostal Christians.

    It's leader Jason Russell is ... yes! you guessed it:

    a fundamentalist christian, take a look at his facebook page.

    Utterly brilliant tactic though,

    the religious right-wingers get the useful idiots of the affluent undergraduate leftwing "elite" to create a the perfect wedge issue in Obama's 2012 election campaign.

    The media (let alone teenage merkans) are so comically stupid, I'd doubt many would even know where Uganda is !.

    Or the fact that Kony was wiped out 7 years ago and now lives in hiding in the Congo !

  15. Brandon 2

    Usually, charities raise money to do good things... like feed the hungry, provide mosquito nets, help child burn victims, etc.... not kill a man. Is that fish I smell, or diamonds?

  16. Wombling_Free


    CLOONEY 2012



  17. The Alpha Klutz

    so you mean that smug, self satisfied, toilet seat sniffer

    runs an organisation that pays himself most of the donations? wow

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    Kony 2012?

    Someone help me out. Does "${name} 2012 campaign" mean that the person concerned is a) running for US president or b) an African tribal warlord.

    I'm confused......

  19. TakeTheSkyRoad


    This completely passed me by and I was logged into facebook this weekend !

    Maybe it's just not found the UK yet

  20. Anonymous Coward

    You Will Be Assimilated

    Facebook's viral activism is really good... for admen"

    And let's not forget 'home land security' wherever you live.

  21. g dot assasin

    Well, I'm glad someone has finally brought up this Kony business... Him and his brother Hamsung have been getting away with selling knock-off TVs for years now.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Have all my upvotes.


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