Sometimes it seems to me that the news today are showing a greater interest in the social media itself and its powers than in the actual issue of Joseph Kony.
The first week of news regarding Joseph Kony was mainly about how many hits the KONY 2012 video had on YouTube, how many likes it had on Facebook and that it was the trending topic on Twitter. I also noticed that there were more reporting of the negative effects of the KONY 2012 video than there were of positive reports, like that teenagers is being targeted and used or that the video is only made to promote the organization “Insvisible Children“. There were of course several news-updates about who Joseph Kony is and what he is know for, but not so much about what is happening today in the matter and what is being done about it. To be honest I felt like I got the most relevant information about this case via bloggers, tweeters or other social media platforms. The actual news came from persons who is usually the spectators.
After the Invisible Children released the video on YouTube it went across the world in a pace we have never seen before. According to the Sydney Morning Herald the video had 11 million views on YouTube and 1.8 million “likes” on Facebook after just one day, and after only one week it has been watched over 60 million times. These are astonishing results and may have caused several epiphanies in some important offices: Social Media IS the greatest agent of democracy!
Not only does these numbers speak about how fast a message can spread in the social media, but it tells us something about the power which lies in the hands of the spectators, and I think this creates a threat to the policymakers in the world.
Why is everyone so sceptical? Why all this criticism? Are the tables about the turn? Are the roles of power being shifted? Might we end up in some kind of digital world war? It is “us” against “them”.