How Kony 2012 Campaign Went Viral and Focused Rare Attention on Africa

Curt Hopkins | Christian Science Monitor | March 9, 2012

Invisible Children, through its Kony 2012 campaign against the Lord's Resistance Army, had a strong message, social media, and a strategy for how to channel a youthful desire to be involved.

On Tuesday, the Invisible Children organization launched a program it called Kony 2012 to draw attention to the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, and agitate for his arrest.

By Wednesday, #stopkony was trending on Twitter. On Thursday, “uganda” (one of the bases of operation for the LRA) and “invisible children kony 2012” were trending on Google at no. 5 and no. 11 respectively. At last glance, its video on YouTube has been viewed more than 55 million times.

The effectiveness of this campaign to make Kony famous – and to pressure US politicians to commit to helping stop Kony's two-and-a-half decades of violence – is because of the way that Invisible Children took full possible advantage of current social media tools...