As I was watching TV the other night, I was browsing through my Facebook news feed on my iPhone and came across a video posted by one of my Facebook friends that caught my attention. I probably would have never watched the video that night had it not been for the fact the video had gone viral with over 67,000,000 (million) views.
The longer I watched, the more I was convinced this was one cause I could not ignore. By the same token, I'm a bit skeptical as to what is behind most movements, so I did a little bit of research and was amazed (but not surprised) to find that no good deed goes unpunished. I'll explain what I mean in a minute. First I want to tell you why it is so important you watch this video.
Jason Russell is a film maker in the US who has visited Uganda in Africa a number of times. He is also the founder of the organization Invisible Children. While in Uganda, Jason Russell made friends with a boy named Jacob. Jacob is just one of an estimated 66,000 children who have been kidnapped by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army.) The LRA is led by a viscous killer by the name of Joseph Kony.
Kony is a cold blooded murderer who kidnaps children and gives them guns and forces them to fight and commit atrocities against other children. It is estimated that a total of over 2 million children have been displaced since 1986 by Kony and the LRA. Jason Russell promised Jacob he would do something about this and started a campaign using social media to get Joseph Kony arrested and brought to justice.
What Russell has accomplished so far is mind boggling to say the least. Joseph Kony is on the run, but has not been arrested yet. By the way, if you think Egypt's Facebook revolution was astonishing you're in for a surprise when you see what Russell’s organization - Invisible Children - is up to.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m a bit skeptical when a movement like this pops up. I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon without first trying to learn a bit more about it – especially if I’m going to share it with my friends and colleagues.
So I did a bit of research online and I was amazed how critics of Jason Russell - who are involved in organizations similar to Invisible Children, are out there complaining. They are barking about why this is wrong - or the approach should be different, or this or that.
These critics obviously know a lot more about Uganda than most of us do. But I find it appalling that instead of joining Jason Russell in this worthy and monumental undertaking, they’ve chosen to sit back and criticize this initiative instead. Like I said, no good deed goes unpunished. My personal opinion is that his critics are sorry they didn’t think of this first. I might even call it professional jealousy. When you watch the video you will see for yourself how this social media movement has got the attention of celebrities, law makers and the President himself.
This will be a historic social media event. Whether you decide to be a part of it or not is completely up to you. All I ask if you are inclined to do so, is that you share the video with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. At most you will have done your part to change the world – and at the very least you’ll get a first hand lesson on viral marketing.