Kony 2012 “Cover The Night” Event Is A Gigantic, Pathetic Flop
Hundreds of thousands of people across the country RSVPed (mostly on Facebook) to “Cover the Night” events scheduled for this past weekend, but very few actually showed up to plaster posters of former Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony around their cities.
The events were supposed to be the culmination of the Kony 2012 hype that began last month when a video posted to YouTube by the charity Invisible Children went viral. The video has nearly 100 million views, but it’s apparent that whatever inclination towards social activism it awakened in people has fizzled out.
The story was the same from city to city. Tens of thousands said they would take part in the event, but tens (and often fewer than ten people) actually showed up.
Was it a case of people being lazy and simply being unwilling to follow through on their promises of action? While the ease of Facebook “slacktivism” likely played a role, it’s more likely that the recent negative press surrounding Invisible Children was the real cause of the failure. When a charity’s co-founder is arrested for allegedly masturbating in public, it’s difficult to maintain credibility.
So, Joseph Kony will likely remain at large, though many have argued that he is not even in Uganda anymore and doesn’t deserve to be a top target for any government other than local authorities. And we all learned an important lesson: Facebook event RSVPs mean absolutely nothing.