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KONY 2012 and the Prospects for Change

Examining the Viral Campaign

Kony 2012 Poster

From the Internet to a street corner in Austin, the KONY 2012 campaign has gone viral in an unprecedented way. (Robert Raines / flickr)

Earlier this month, more than 30 civilians were killed during armed attacks in South Kivu, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Those killings were committed not by the Lord's Resistance Army but by one of the many Congolese militias operating in the area. In recent months, those groups have been responsible for a marked increase in violence, but in most cases, such attacks go unnoticed by international media. So it was in this case: as usual, it is only thanks to local sources that we know about such events at all.

The lack of attention is ironic at the moment because of the sudden popularity of the KONY 2012 video campaign. Invisible Children, a nonprofit, has focused the world on Joseph Kony, who heads the Lord's Resistance Army, a

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