I am an avid user of Facebook, for better or worse. The last few weeks many of my friends have been engaging in a large amount of slacktivism by linking a video called Kony 2012.
Some of the scenes in this video may be disturbing, as the topic is general violence and exploitation of children in Africa.
As of this writing, the video has over eighty (80) million views. Gone viral isn’t the word, I guess. But, then again, this video, much more to my liking, has over two hundred and six million views.
So maybe the Kony video isn’t as big as one might think. But since the Kony views have come in such a short period of time, it is still impressive to me.
I was blessed to inherit from my father a fantastic BS Detector. I can smell scams, liars, thieves, and general criminals a mile away. Having so many of my Facebook friends linking the Kony video all at the same was suspicious to say the least – the video was so prominent in my feed that I thought a bunch of my friends got hacked or that maybe I got hacked and that the video was attaching itself all over the place. But after investigation, I found out that the links were indeed true and that this thing was truly viral.
The group that produced the video, Invisible Children, was the first thing I looked at. I went to Google and entered “Invisible Children Scam” and a ton of interesting things come up that cast doubt on the integrity of the organization.
Not only that, but why would anyone send money to Africa anyway? Unless you know FOR SURE the person doing the work there and are VERY confident that the money you give is going to where your contact says it is going, there is very little doubt that cronies, cops, middle men, and other generally nasty people are going to get a cut (if not all) of your money heading to Africa.
Personally, I give money only to charitable organizations that I can physically visit, talk to, and see exactly what they are doing and how they are doing it. I always read the financial statements of charitable organizations I give to and want to see exactly how much the people who work there are getting paid. If they don’t want to share this information with me, I pass them by.
Yesterday, I saw that one of the heads of Invisible Children was “detained” in San Diego for suspicion of being drunk and/or on drugs and masturbating in public.
A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach on Thursday for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Jason Russell, 33, was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to the SDPD. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.
An SDPD spokesperson said the man detained was acting very strange, some may say bizarre.
“Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested,” Lt. Andra Brown said. “During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying.”
Police said they received several calls Thursday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming.
Invisible Children’s CEO Ben Keesey released a statement after 1:40 p.m. on Friday saying:
“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.”
Hmm. The triple play! Typically when I see a superstar singer or athlete being checked in somewhere for “dehydration” or “exhaustion”, I take it to mean that they were on a bender with booze, drugs, or both. Isn’t that the code? On top of all this we have malnutrition! Because there is no food in the United States.
By adding up a bunch of slactivism all at once, a not so great balance sheet, and one of the founders of the organization that created the video going nuts I smell a rat to say the least. I smelled it when all of my Facebook friends started linking the video when it went viral – all the rest was just confirmation.
But honestly, the video is a very slick piece of film making, no matter what the end game is. Kony, whether dead, alive, real, or not is a nasty individual and I understand why people are moved to do something, whether it is slactivism based or real donations.
Cross posted at LITGM.