The #KONY2012 movement is welcomed for the attention it has brought to Uganda, but in reality the man and his actions are symptoms of much broader problems that must be addressed to prevent future Joseph Konys.
At any point, anyone with a social mission can lose it. You live and breathe your work. It's so personal to you. Meltdowns like Russell's can happen whenever you have a mission much bigger than yourself.
Imagine for a second your worst day or your worst decision -- and having that magnified a million times. A Google search for "Jason Russell arrest" (which was not an actual arrest because charges weren't made) conjured up 121 million results on Google. Imagine that with your name.
The journalist and the dramatist must navigate between the siren call of story and the rocky shoals of truth. Both Jason Russell and Mike Daisey wrecked their ships. We should judge them not simply by their navigational skills, or lack thereof, but also the things they carried.
As a result of the inadvertent harm caused by well-meaning but misguided advocacy and the offense caused by turning the Kony crisis into a marketing pitch, humanitarian advocates must hold themselves to a higher standard.
Invisible Children has been criticized for not spending enough money on programs. But Invisible Children is an advocacy organization. They spend money on media -- not direct aid -- because that's their strategy.
Viral campaigns should bring people far away closer together, not push people farther away from each other. And so I hesitate to endorse Kony2012, because I fear they're doing more of the latter. Here is why.
The international community needs more opportunities to argue and debate about our involvement in the world and especially Africa. We need to stop for a moment and question if we are doing enough and if so, is what we are doing actually RIGHT?