While the release of the second Stop Kony video counted as a viral whimper against the bang of its predecessor, the campaign’s tactics could be working.
The follow up video, which was made to address concerns raised by its detractors, has only one and a half million views compared to the original videos’ 87 million views.
However, the African Union’s decision to launch a military force could indicate that despite the searing criticism, the campaign might have created enough political pressure to achieve its aim of having Joseph Kony arrested by the end of 2012.
The African Union is launching a 5 000-strong military force from South Sudan with the sole purpose of finding and arresting Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
The original video, designed to make Kony “famous” in an attempt to have him arrested for his war crimes, became a hot talking-point because of the methods it advocated and the way it portrayed the situation in central Africa.
While Invisible Children, the organisation behind the videos, advocated for a US military intervention to find Kony, this African solution might be more palatable to detractors who said the video was too westernised and encouraged a “saviour-complex” in the West.
Both videos call for the international community to “Cover the Night” on April 20th, an initiative that encourages the youth to cover their cities in posters of Kony in order to “make him famous” so that governments will feel continued pressure from their citizens to support the efforts to capture Kony.