Whether you are a hardcore follower, or a disgruntled disbeliever of Invisible Children, it was hard to miss their KONY 2012 video. However, their latest video, the sequel, reveals a lot more information on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and focuses a lot less on emotions like the last video. Even with all these new facts, there are still a lot of relevant questions that have not been answered about their organization and its legitimacy.
The 20-minute video released a month after their first video went viral focuses on answering a few key questions. They aim to explain the progress of the campaign, what people can do now to help, and most importantly, explain the creation of the campaign. They take the first few minutes to introduce some of the criticisms against them, such as claims that it is just a fad, a scam, and that the danger being addressed in the video has already been averted. However, they do not necessarily answer these questions, which makes the video somewhat ineffective.
The progress of the campaign is seen in the numbers behind the movement. The video also includes that Congress has two bi-partisan resolutions that have been signed by over 100 members of Congress. The day of action, Cover the Night, is still set to be on April 20, and they urge people to continue to join to see what more they can do. This all seems like terrific news, and it is obvious that there is progress with the movement. Yet, this does not change the fact that the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability has still not been able to review Invisible Children. This would allow the BBB to know how the organization is governed, how they spend their money, and the truthfulness of their representation. They have failed to do this for six years now.
Moreover, while the organization did address the scandal with Jason Russell, the director of KONY 2012, the most that is known about the issue is that he is recovering in a hospital. While it is understandable to want privacy during such a delicate time for Russell, it is also hard to sympathize and give more aid to a cause that seems to not have leadership behind it. The organization’s last attempt to fix a public relations mess was mostly about finances and was addressed by CEO Ben Keesey, but still did not answer all the questions people had about how their money was being used.
One final note that was addressed is that many in Uganda claimed that the LRA is not longer a real threat in Uganda. They answer this by claiming that 57 more abductees have been kidnapped since the launch of KONY 2012, and that the war may have ended, but Kony was still not caught. This claim seems more legitimate, because Kony not being captured is tragic to hear. It would be great to know where these numbers came from though.
It is not easy to take Invisible Children as seriously now that so many questions have still gone unanswered. It has left a permanent stain on the organization that they cannot seem to rub off. While we all want to believe that this organization will come to save the day on April 20, and all that has come from their campaign are more questions and disappointments.