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It has been over four weeks since the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls and the world's attention on Nigeria has gradually faded. The placards have disappeared, government heads have played their role in once again pledging their "assistance" to Africa and mainstream media have done their part in disseminating selective pieces to a much bigger picture.
Everyone loves secrets. Everyone loves knowing something powerful or important that others don't. We cling to obscure knowledge and esoteric trivia for the idea that by knowing something concealed or contrarian you're a brave individualist unafraid to champion the challenging and subversive. There's only one problem: it's hard. So we create shortcuts.
You probably won't be surprised by what the top YouTube video of 2012 was for Canadian viewers. It knocked Justin Bieber out of YouTube's coveted all-time top spot. Peter Mansbridge danced to it. A ch...
In the highly turbulent world of the Middle East, social media has been playing an extremely significant role in raising awareness and inciting change. But in Iran, the internet is closed-off from the outside world, only giving its citizens government-issued propaganda. People like Saman Arbabi are trying to fight this, and we must help in any way we can.
After the Holocaust, we said "never again." After the Vietnam War, we said "never again." After Cambodia, we said "never again." But time and time again, we've gone back on our word. When will we, as a nation, and a people, stand up and say, "enough is enough?"
Since it's spring -- or at least, feeling spring-like -- I'm going to start today's roundup with the announcement of a new feature you'll see sprouting in our blog rail this coming week. It's called "Change My Mind": Two bloggers will debate a topical subject and readers will be able to vote on who won. In other news, it was the week that started -- and ended -- with the Kony 2012 video. Unless you have been living under a rock (or, come to think of it, on the lam in an African jungle), you could not avoid being aware of the controversy surrounding the viral video made by Invisible Children.
Achol was tall and attractive, and by the time we initially found her she had been raped and abused over 200 times. Now out of the army, she wanted to marry, but the region knew of her history and kept her at a distance.
You'd have to be living under a rock not to know about the huge problems with Kony2012. Invisible Children temporarily won the media war with a ruthlessly inaccurate, highly sentimental mediation of a war. Mercifully, though, in this social media environment, it takes less than a day to pierce that sentimentality with some perspective.
Plans to show Ugandans a widely watched YouTube video about Joseph Kony and the atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army have been scrapped, after an audience at the first screening was upse...
Along the way, we're constantly reminded of the film's blatant focus -- arrest the Kony monster, save the children. No subtlety here. Jason Russell's own cute four-year-old son Gavin co-stars with his father. The kid doesn't advance the story himself, he's simply a powerful device to pull at every heartstring in every viewer.
If you were to ask General Romeo Dallaire what he thought of the KONY 2012 video, he would tell you that the scope of Joseph Kony's criminal actions wouldn't have been possible if the world had moved in such a way as to deconstruct the child weapon system before people like Kony could unleash his bloody havoc.
Stopping Kony is no longer as important as properly dealing with his tragic legacy. The ultimate way we deal with Joseph Kony is by transforming the tortured souls he left behind. Capturing him won't do that. Making the world aware of him likely won't either. In the end, it's up to you.
Watching the Kony 2012 video leaves you with the wrong impression. We now know that Kony only has a few hundred troops at most, that most of the child soldiers are no longer with him, and that international forces are taking the lead in discovering Kony's whereabouts.
Invisible Children wants to make war criminal Joseph Kony a household name, and have his image plastered around the world in an attempt to raise awareness, bracelets and all. What bothers is the symbolism of this campaign. Are we really still stuck on this kind of ignorant advocacy?