KONY:2012 – Is it a Scam?

KONY 2012, a documentary produced by non-profit Invisible Children, has all the necessary elements to become quickly viral as it has been receiving millions of views on YouTube and Vimeo.

Almost everyone I know posted links on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to show their support of the said cause. Even Rihanna has announced that she will be helping to “fight the cause” by supporting the organization and helping them put together a new video.

The video awakens the feelings of the viewers by telling a story of several children being abused, starting out the video with a few stats on social networking and how it could empower us to do something, change something. Isn’t it fulfilling to feel that you’re able to do something just by clicking that Like, Share and Tweet button? Of course we all want to be part of something that will make history. And that is one of the several elements that made the video an instant hit.

You can evaluate Invisible Children’s 2011 budget and jusdge for yourself whether it’s a scam or not. $1,074,273 was allocated to travel and $1,724,993 was allocated to staff compensation.

You may also read posts from Mashable questioning whether it’s a scam or not and this post which has a quick rundown of the real digits. You may also read the Invisble Children’s response to the issue here.

You be the judge.


  1. says

    I also didn’t share it, not because I don’t care, but I’m not a big fan of anything overhyped. Because of this video that I came to know whoever Kony is, but what’s next? I can’t do any further regarding the issue, this just made me feel powerless. If I spend more of my time campaigning Kony I would be wasting my time I should be spending on work and enriching myself so I could contribute anything worthy (however small it is) to the society. Just being honest. 

    Kony is now famous. I think the best thing to do is to move forward.

  2. says

    I’m one of those people who didn’t feel like sharing it, not because I didn’t care, but because I happen to believe in researching about something first before sharing it with people in my network. And since researching will take more time, I’d rather use it for something valuable. Plus, it’s been too viral and hyped already so I don’t think my extra effort to share will be a biggie I’m pretty sure everyone in my network has seen someone else on their feeds sharing it or talking about this vid.

  3. says

    It’s not a scam. The video’s director, Jason Russel, was on Anderson Cooper’s show last night and Anderson asked him the tough questions that people were asking regarding the video, how they were appropriating their funds, and their agenda for producing the vid. Jason was pretty direct with his answers, and settled most of those issues, at least for me. 

    I understand the need to verify claims and causes online and offline (I’m a journalist). I too was like you, suspicious at first. But I think KONY 2012 is one of those causes I personally believe cannot be viral enough. When people like Joseph Kony are doing the despicable things that he’s doing, when organizations like LRA continue to kill, torture, and abuse children, no participation is too small. Every click, every share, every comment matters. 

    That’s how the video got viral in proportions that Cooper said is unheard of before. Cooper has been doing documentaries on LRA before, but it never penetrated global consciousness as much as Russel’s video. Because everyone who watched the vid was moved to share and to help. I hope you’ll change your mind and be moved as well. :-)
    You can watch Cooper’s interview with Russel here: http://bit.ly/zLnYwl

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