PUBLIC OPINION > KONY 2012 Can Make a Difference

News 2012/03/08 23:00:00
Invisible Children's KONY 2012 campaign evoked a storm of social media shares and memes this week, making Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony an overnight anti-celebrity, which is exactly what the campaign set out to do. But there's still an enormous amount of discussion over whether or not awareness is enough to take down the despicable man. There's a good deal of controversy surrounding Invisible Children's message. Is it implicitly militaristic? Are donations being used wisely? Do supporters even understand the situation? There are a lot of directions to take this conversation, but to start out we opted for a general question... the big question: Will it make a difference?

The results weren't as overwhelming as Invisible Children might like them to be, but KONY 2012 hit its mark. Well over half of the respondents are convinced the campaign can make a difference, even if that change might be unclear at the moment. At least people are talking about it. At least now we can hold that broader discussion about what we can do to help, if anything. As for the doubters, they have good reason to hesitate. The Top Opinion summarized the skepticism remarkably well with an Elrond meme: "One does not simply... destabilize a Ugandan warlord by liking Facebook status." In other words, the awareness is nice, but it's just not that simple.

Women Are On Board

We actually didn't expect there to be much of a gender difference here, but it was impossible to ignore. Female voters were 20% more likely than men to say KONY 2012 will make a difference. Maybe women are more optimistic, or maybe men are simply skeptical about the military implications. Even then, more than half of the male voters had faith in it.

Facebook Finds Supporters

This is probably the most remarkable demographic we found. Looking at the age breakdown, every group over the age of 24 voted about the same, with just under half admitting it could make a difference. But the two youngest groups were way more optimistic. In fact, teens were nearly twice as likely to buy into the campaign. We suspect Facebook has something to do with it.

Reluctant Conservatives

On the political spectrum, the controversy remained. Liberals were mostly for it, and conservatives mostly against. And the reason is pretty obvious: Intervention. Conservatives are likely worried about the implied intervention required of this movement, whether that's military or economic.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about KONY 2012. We'd love to hear from you!
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  • D'Joy 2012/03/10 04:08:55
    It is quite clear that there are those critiques of the KONY 2012 who have no clue that it takes more than a heart to do good to make things happen. You have to money and media to reach those in power who have the authority to do something . . . .
  • Your friendly neighborhood ... 2012/03/10 03:21:05
    Your friendly neighborhood stalker
    Sure made one on my newsfeed for a day.
  • doctorwho_guru.†=♡ 2012/03/10 03:03:44 (edited)
  • lolitalovely 2012/03/10 01:48:59
    I will say that it isn't a scam. The invisible children program has been speaking at public schools for at least 4 years. Kony's been rampant for about 10 years. They have a nice website and I like to use the LRA crisis tracker.(http://www.lracrisis... we can't do anything about it, but I'm glad that it's finally becoming a well known problem.
  • dominic garcia 2012/03/10 01:42:52 (edited)
    dominic garcia
    We should not get involved, it would just be another useless war for us. Just like the same problem in Mexico with the cartels. Those countries need to handle their own problems. I feel for all the children and people who have been affected. Wickedness has gotten out of hand, we can no longer be other countries saviors. We do not have the money, we are broke. We need to retreat, because our nation is the one that is presently falling apart. Simple wisdom.....How can you take the splint from someones eye out, when there is a log in yours. There is something fishy about Kony 2012, I think it is just a ploy and nothing will probably come out of it , because the corruption in Africa is much bigger than just one evil man.
  • Angry i... dominic... 2012/03/11 17:05:10
    Angry in MO
    People NEED to realize, this kind of violence and corruption has been going on in africa for centuries, and the uninformed think they can undo a thousand year old mindset in a matter of months.
  • dominic... Angry i... 2012/03/11 21:48:14
    dominic garcia
    Right and the worse one is our president, who thinks he can change the world overnight. He sent some of our soldiers to Africa, I believe they were something like 100, but who knows how many he really has out there. It was not alright for President Bush to get rid of the tyrant in Iraq, but it is alright for him to get us into wars to help Africa and his brotherhood muslims in the middle east. Getting involved in Libya was a mistake, yet he thinks he did the right thing. I believe personally that the middle east is in much danger considering Obama and the other nations involved are only facilitating the take over of the muslim brotherhood. There are chemicals of mass destuction in Syria and Iran and if the taliban and the brotherhood gets a hold of them, America is the one that will become toast.
  • Angry i... dominic... 2012/03/12 12:18:26
    Angry in MO
    That is like what I have said about the middle east, the doo goodies are in such a rush to get rid of the evil dictators, BUT they do not realize, that evil dictator was the one who kept all the extremeist nutjobs from kiling each other off.....Once the dictator was toppled, there went the little stability the area had !
  • dominic... Angry i... 2012/03/12 16:11:23 (edited)
    dominic garcia
    Exactly Angry, you got it. Either way it is a no win situation. When evilness is that big, it becomes impossible to beat. The countries will be going from one tyrant to a worse tyrant, because it is the muslim brotherhood who are the instigators, but in reality they are the worse terrorist and big possibilty that they are in cahoots with the taliban. How crazy is that. Obama more that likely is helping our own enemies and doesn't even know it. I have this feeling though, that Obama has become gung-ho and he wants to take out Assad the same way he did Osama Bin laden.
  • wesley 2012/03/10 00:57:31
    It can help:
  • Sister Jean 2012/03/10 00:22:21
    Sister Jean
    I know animals more human than he
  • lee 2012/03/10 00:04:45
    so, to be clear, public option does NOT back Kony the person.... it does back "KONY 2012" the campaign.

    one could get the wrong impression since Rush Limbaugh was defending this guy just a couple years ago..
  • Yankee: The A-Hole of PHÆT 2012/03/10 00:00:02
    Yankee: The A-Hole of PHÆT
    I didnt know what this hype was all about until i read an article about this... This guy is a horrible person an a raging lunatic. Possibly a spawn of satan
  • FoxHunter 2012/03/09 23:49:28
    I've wanted to take him out for years.
  • stevmackey 2012/03/09 23:37:42
    Why can't the Uganda police handle this. Are they too corrupt. If things keep happening and we intrude, the countries will for get how to defend themselves. You know, like feeding wild birds and ducks.
  • T-town 2012/03/09 23:30:26
    its not a matter of can.... IT WILL END THIS YEAR... as a supporter of invisibal children and have bought a radio tower and set it up in uganda myself.... this will end
  • chamchamgal 2012/03/09 23:17:57
    I see a lot of hatters.
    Knowledge is not a scam.
  • jacob crim 2012/03/09 23:02:23 (edited)
    jacob crim
    My gf watched the video last night while I was sitting next to her, I could not help but think its a scam and only apply to emotional heart strings of idiotic Americans. Remember a few years back when everyone in this country wanted to "Save Darfur", whatever happened to that? Sure Kony is an evil dude but there is nothing we can do, buying t shirts will do nothing. Say we were to send our military over there to stop Kony, his child army would resist us because thats what they are trained to do. Can you imagine the backlash when our military has killed some child soldiers? This photo sums it up nicely.

    gf watched video scam apply emotional heart strings idiotic americans
  • Boetica jacob crim 2012/03/10 02:53:52
    Obama has already sent special forces there.
  • Steve jacob crim 2012/03/10 17:26:42
    Sadly, most of Kony's child soldiers will kill, rape, and destroy until they are dead. The pattern will continue until Kony is brought to justice. Without global public demands to have him brought to justice, his genocidal LRA will continue indefinitely.

    A well-resourced effort to arrest the man can get the job done with relatively few lives lost. Consider that his force's AK-47s would be ineffective against armored personnel carriers. The alternative to bringing him to justice could well mean more tens of thousands of innocent victims slaughtered.

    In a case like his, I'd be in favor of using high-tech surveillance and a drone strike to take him out. A bit expensive, but collateral damage could be minimal. He's plainly a terrorist and the planet's worst living mass-murderer.
  • IzzieWuvvsYhu!™ 2012/03/09 23:02:18
    Many people are saying KONY 2012, is in fact a scam. But that might not be true. In case it is, America needs to open their eyes. There are people like this in other places, besides Africa... And America never mentions it! -_- Seriously.
  • Boetica IzzieWu... 2012/03/10 02:54:32
    Like Mexico and other Latin American countries.
  • IzzieWu... Boetica 2012/03/10 17:00:47
    Yeah. Exactly! America needs to pay a little more attention.
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/10 13:52:39
    Right now we have our own tyrant to deal with, the illegal poser in the WH!
  • IzzieWu... shadow76 2012/03/10 17:01:51
    Who? Obama? Now please, what makes everyone think he is an illegal poser?
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/10 18:59:00 (edited)
    The socalled online BC never existed in document form. It was created online. Before that he refused to show it anytime asked.
  • IzzieWu... shadow76 2012/03/10 19:50:29
    Oh... Well that makes a little sence, i guess.
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/11 14:22:17
    T someone who's whole life story is a complete lie.
  • IzzieWu... shadow76 2012/03/11 15:33:39
    So then... if he's an illegal fake, then why do you think he would pose as the president? What might he do to America? :O
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/11 16:22:57
    Open your eyes and look what he is doing ! he is bent on destroying the USA!
  • IzzieWu... shadow76 2012/03/11 18:45:04
    I know, but i mean.. HOW will he destroy America?
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/12 08:36:29
    He started the minute was elected. Shipping jobs overseas, overspending to the point of insanity, cutting our defenses, violating The Constitution.
  • IzzieWu... shadow76 2012/03/12 12:08:18
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/12 12:51:45
    Yeah, oh!
  • IzzieWu... shadow76 2012/03/12 21:41:15
    I feel dumb. I didn't notice. lol
  • shadow76 IzzieWu... 2012/03/13 01:21:27
    Well pay attention now, everyday he is furthering his agenda and it is not what he says it is.
  • Steve IzzieWu... 2012/03/10 17:32:04
    Nobody alive on the planet is responsible for more atrocities than Kony. Multiply these victims by tens of THOUSANDS:
    alive planet responsible atrocities kony multiply victims tens alive planet responsible atrocities kony multiply victims tens
  • IzzieWu... Steve 2012/03/10 18:01:08
    There are people just as bad as Kony, that nobody has heard about. Kony is bad, but people do that in other places as well.
  • Steve IzzieWu... 2012/03/10 18:22:01
    Just as bad? No, he's personally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, torture, mutilation, kidnapping, forcing children to murder their own parents.

    There is nobody else on the planet as evil. If you disagree, please name someone.

    These atrocities must end.
  • IzzieWu... Steve 2012/03/10 18:27:25
    I beleive that this is bad, but there is another man just like him. America doesn't know about this though. And I'm quite sorry, but I don't know his name. But he is real and he was in Cuba last time I heard.

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