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So What’s the Story with all this “Kony” Stuff? [Links]

Kony 2012 - Facebook

If you’ve been anywhere on the internet the last few days, it’s been impossible not to see people posting about “Kony 2012″. My curiosity peaked last night and I took the time to see what everyone was talking about.

The centerpiece is a 30 minute documentary video produced by the nonprofit group Invisible Children. Over the span of the half hour we’re introduced to filmmaker Jason Russell and his Ugandan friend “Jacob” who’s family has been destroyed by the African warlord Joseph Kony, who has been accused of kidnapping thousands of children and pressing them into involuntary paramilitary service. The film outlines the group’s desire to capture Kony and bring him to justice in front of the International Criminal Court (which, by the way, the US does not participate in).

It’s an admirable goal. Who wouldn’t support a group that wants to help the helpless, especially children? In the span of just four days the video has been viewed on YouTube over 36 million times, and has been reposted on Facebook a plethora of times. If you have a Facebook account, you probably have at least a few friends who have posted the link.

In that time, also, some criticism about the charity and some of their accounting and tactics has also come out.

The general way I look at it is this; do your research. The goals of the Invisible Children group is certainly admirable, but it’s also important to know, if you choose to join in and even give financial support, exactly who you’re supporting and exactly where your money is going. For their part, Invisible Children has a rather lengthy page on their website where they respond to some of the criticism.

The same thing should go for any charity that you choose to support – do your homework, know who you’re supporting and know how your money is being used. We can all help impact the world, we should just know how we’re impacting it.

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