Kony 2012 or Phony 2012?

The now famous Joseph Kony

The now famous Joseph Kony

The whole Make Joseph Kony famous story just proves that fact is indeed stranger than fiction. In the short space of two weeks the video that has now become the most watched in internet history has caused criticism and breakdowns.

Ten days ago on Storify.com  I was trying to put together a piece, initially intended to praise Invisible Children for their efforts to help victims of Kony’s lust for power, but with the help of Storify, the angle of the story changed within a minute of research.Simply by plugging Kony 2012 into a Facebook search on Storify.com my story took a completely different turn.

I  discovered that Invisible Children had many questions to answer regarding their use of financial donations and their neglect to ask photographer Glenna Gordon for her permission to use her photo as the banner for the Invisible children’s website.

In an email to Glenna Gordon she granted me permission to use that photo on my blog but declined to be interviewed saying, “As you can imagine it has been a couple of hectic weeks.”

The Invisible Children website had to develop a specific webpage to answer criticisms dealing with the fallout and accusations.

On her own blog, Scarlett Lion, Glenna Gordon states that she tried to contact media in 2007 when she took the photo of the Invisible Children founders fooling around with Ugandan soldier’s guns. Though she tried to get the story into the media she said on her blog that, “no one would bite.”

The photo, according to Gordon, promotes the 3 founders of Invisible Children as, “bad-ass-Ramboo types” that are privileged outsiders on the Sudan-Cogo border playing at being soldiers whilst in reality, they can walk away from war at any time.

Glenna Gordon also stated that the Invisible Children founders never asked her permission to use the photo for their website.

In what has to be the strangest twist to this tale yet, 33 year old Jason Russell, an Invisible Children co-founder and documentary director of the Kony 2012 video, was detained by San Diego police on Thursday March 15 for vandalising cars, being naked and masturbating in public.

All of this started because I wanted to write a story in praise of what Kony 2012 were trying to do. Instead, twitter, Facebook and google were on fire with negative stories and comments about Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 campaign.

Fact is stranger than fiction.

My storify piece on Is Kony 2012 Legit can be located here, Glenna Gordon’s Story can be located here, and the most recent piece on Jason Russel’s strange behavior is here.

Thanks to Glenna Gordon’s kindness I can show you this,

Invisible children Banner. Photo used by kind permission of Glenna Gordon
Invisible children Banner. Photo by kind permission of Glenna Gordon

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