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.
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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