Check the facts before you join a campaign

Check the facts before you join a campaign

Kony 2012 - a campaign to help the hunt for wanted Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony - became an internet sensation last month. The promotional video on You Tube attracted more than 100 million hits.

As requested by the campaign's organiser, Invisible Children, people all over the world have been putting the words "Kony 2012" on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and posting links to the video.

In Hong Kong, a Facebook event, Kony 2012 Night Sweep, called on 9,000 people to raise awareness about the issue, although it's not known how many actually took part.

There is no doubt that Kony is a cruel man. But what's disturbing about this is how few people seem to have done any research on the subject - they're simply buying into everything the video says.

The biggest problem is the organisation itself. Invisible Children is an extremely shady non-profit organisation whose campaign has been called misleading and immature.

Only 32 per cent of the money it collects goes directly to the victims, with the other 68 per cent allocated for staff salaries, travel, transport and film production. Charity Navigator, which evaluates American charities, also gives them two out of four stars for accountability because their finances are not externally audited.

Meanwhile, many internet users have criticised the Kony 2012 video, saying it promotes the organisation. How do you expect to accomplish anything by sharing, liking or re-tweeting? How can one expect to solve this sort of problem this way?

If you shared the film on Facebook, how much research did you do on Invisible Children?

Fortunately, it seems some of the enthusiasm has already faded. Few turned out last week for the group's worldwide "Cover the Night" event.

Don't just forward a random video to people, even if it's about catching a mass murderer.

You need to understand a topic properly before you act.

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