“From our own correspondent: The Kony 2012 campaign and the effect of Social Media”

In this feature, I will be talking about the affect of social media on the Kony 2012 campaign, exploring the benefits and disadvantages of using this medium.
Kony 2012 went viral on March 7th 2012. I know exactly when I heard about it, exactly what I was doing and it stuck with me forever. Surely this describes how compelling the documentary is?
Kony 2012 is a half-hour documentary that is supported by Invisible Children, a charity that was co-founded by Jason Russell, in 2005, to fight African war atrocities. The video is based on Joseph Kony, with the specific aim to make him famous, not in celebration but to make the world aware of his crimes and to fight for his arrest…
Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has been said to have abducted around 60,000 children; forced the boys to kill their parents and turned the girls into sex slaves. Kony is at the top of the International Criminal Court’s ‘Most Wanted List’.
Over the years many of those individuals on the ICC’s list of wanted people have been “brought to justice” as it were…
We saw the death of Osama Bin Laden last year, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists, killed at a hideout in Pakistan. Then it was onto Libya and the uprising of people there, eventually resulting in the regime of Colonel Gadaffi being toppled and the former Libyan leader killed, after months of conflict across the country…So why has Joseph Kony not met the same fate? It’s simple…because there is no political or financial reason in doing so. Kony represents no political party or financial interests; he is simply responsible for a number of humanitarian atrocities…
The Lord’s Resistance Army, Kony’s enterprise, was formed in Uganda 25 years ago and is now based in Congo. The boy soldiers are encouraged to murder their parents and families, mutilating them in ways too horrific to describe. Survivors will be as badly scarred on the outside as the inside…
On April 20th 2012, when the sun goes down the world will cover the night. Posters, t-shirts, banners will be displayed throughout the western cultures in a massive attempt to make Kony famous. In the 5 days running up to April 20th, people are urged to sign the Pledge and to create more media coverage. Sample tweets have been emailed world-wide to encourage people to appeal to world leaders to arrest Kony and put an end to his tyranny…
The film has been an almost instant viral success, dominating Twitter worldwide and having one of the fastest ever take-offs on You Tube. The hash tag #stopkony has had hundreds of thousands of tweets, and millions of people now know something about Uganda and what is happening to children there…
It’s safe to say that this campaign has benefited on a huge scale from social networking sites, like Twitter. The Invisible Children organisation has been able to reach millions of people, in different countries, cultures and societies with just a push of a button. And what’s wrong with rallying together for a good cause? The Kony 2012 project was a hugely successful exploitation of social media and a testament to the power of an integrated social media network…
Social media was the mechanism that enabled Barack Obama to be elected. During the Virginia Tech massacres of April 2007, students were texting and ‘facebooking’ such messages as ‘Facebook saved my life’, giving it an agency of its own. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg should be sanctified. Jamal Albarghouti, who was a graduate student at Virginia Tech, recorded an onsite video during the shootings’ For all of that, he has become, on a Facebook description, a ‘citizen journalist’.

Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr have allowed wider access for charitable organisations such as Invisible Children and campaigns like Kony 2012. They can reach a worldwide audience and spread their beliefs quickly…It is useful for raising awareness and increasing public engagement.
However, the problem with social media is that it spreads like wild-fire. This only becomes an issue if the story is untrue. Rumours have been circulating that have led to criticisms for Kony 2012.
Michael Wilkerson discussed the criticisms, he said:
 It would be great to get rid of Kony.  He and his forces have left abductions and mass murder in their wake for over 20 years.
But let’s get two things straight:
Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn’t been for six years;
The LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality.”…
And so, if Kony 2012 has over exaggerated the severity of Kony’s crimes, a lot of the people who have watched the video have been misled. This is a huge disadvantage when using social media. You cannot be sure whether the document you are reading, video you are watching or campaign you are joining is trustworthy…
The documentary has been criticised for not sticking to the BBC’s impartiality rule of journalism. No, it isn’t impartial. But impartiality is not going to motivate anyone into action.
Journalists have described it as partisan, tactless and very bold. Well, that it may be. But it has fulfilled its objectives in that its exponential popularity growth on the web has grabbed attention and now the world is aware of Joseph Kony…
Personally, from looking at Kony 2012 I’m suddenly aware of the power that social networking represents in our modern day society. It has taken such an incredibly influential role to the point that logging onto Facebook has become as normal and regular as eating and sleeping. What do I do when I wake up first thing in the morning? I check my phone, check Twitter, check Facebook… etc. All of that before anything else, it has become the “modern day” start of the day…
Social media has helped raise awareness for this campaign, but will it actually stop Kony? Probably not, but the hope is that that it motivates change. Not just in this situation but in all others… The LRA has damaged families, hurt quality of life and is affecting traditions. Exaggerated or not, it needs to end.
Yes, Joseph Kony is just one person and there are other criminals out there, but if social networking, can make such an impact and raise so much awareness then think what else can be achieved. What else is out there? So rather than thinking of Kony 2012 as a campaign based solely on the capture of one man, rather see it as an example of the change that can be achieved in a modern day world…with a little help from the internet.
A xo

B&B

If you have read my previous blogs you will have read about my troubles with our troll-like housemate (we have nicknamed her ‘Troll’ because a) she looks like one b) she must smell bad due to numerous showers and c) she talks like one) This is chapter 2 on this issue. enjoy….

So…. at the minute it would appear that we are currently running a free B&B service here at our student house.

THE TROLL has decided it is appropriate to have people staying over within a week of each other. This, I don’t mind but they don’t contribute anything to bills and they’re having a few showers each day (cos they smell bad) and they’re cooking their own food. On top of this, she’s leaving them alone while she fucks about at uni.. charging their phones, inviting whoever they want round. Jesus..it’s not a friggin’ free for all love!! 

She’s got this seriously ignorant side to her as well…she never talks to us. Never even utters a sentence in our presence ………………………………………………………….until she fucking needs something. Like, she can’t afford to pay her bills on time, or she’s “cold” — baring in mind that she walks around in summer tops most of the time (mong).

We are now taking bookings for next week, feel free to take advantage of all the free electric gas and nice hot running water coz we dont have to pay bills at all…. im sure 5 of u in that little room is incredibly comfortable….
please call 0800 free-4-troll-friends. Pfft!

Keep you posted guys.. A xo

p.s. she also goes by the alias — “The Cretin”.. ya hear that name…run

Burning the candle at both ends? Mine has melted completely.

Most of us are happy trundling along in life at a steady pace, doing the things that need to get done.
But when you realise you’ve taken too much on in your life and need a breather, that’s when the difficulties start to become apparent.
Recently, I have started a placement at a mental healthcare facility, which hopefully will boost my postgrad applications immensely. I also have a part-time job that’s paying my way through university. 20hours a week might not sound an awfully big chunk of time, but it is alongside fulltime lectures and seminars. As it’s my 3rd year, my undergraduate dissertation is well underway, a massive 10,000 word document that gets bound and is prestigous. Needless to say, that part of my degree would be going alot smoother if I had a dissertation supervisor that could manage his emails and respond to mine… alas.. “busy busy!” is all the reply i get.
[Gee thanks…just state the obvious!]
I’ve also decided it would be a genius idea to get a head start on postgrad applications — (no aimee..it’s not) and to be brutally honest with you guys..i’m scared shitless about it! It’s not the concept of doing the masters..it’s the fact that i’ll no longer be in academia properly and I will then be viewed as a grown-up.

SO you have found me sat in front of my laptop, staring blankly at the screen deliberating over my future. All I can think of is ringing him. To hear his voice and feel it calm my outraged nerves and tell me everything is going to be alright.
If you are going through a similar stage in your life, where it feels like you’re constantly fighting for a break and you seem to be drowning in all the jobs left on your to-do list. Where you wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night screaming from a nightmare where you’ve turned up late and sat the wrong exam or you forgot to get dressed because you were so worried about your interview. And you’re so stressed that you’ve bitten your nails right down, don’t panic..we’ve all had moments like that.
But if it happens that you have someone who offers that calm that you seem to crying out for….you’re lucky. Never let go of that.
If I miss my deadlines and my alarm doesnt go off and I fail all my exams.. if I have nothing else…I have him and I am grateful for that.

A xo

Teething problems

It’s been a long time coming but i’ve had to organise my ranty, outraged thoughts and put them into understandable sentences.

So far, our student house has had little upsets. It was all quiet on Newington Rd, until late October.
An 18 year old girl has such little consideration for 3rd year students. She invites people over to stay for days on end, they help themselves to gas, electric, food, showers, everything — i mean.. the bills add up ya know?!

Next, some random guy turns up at gone midnight and she doesnt even understand why i’d have a problem with this!

Following this, I thought it would be constructive to have a house meeting….which turned into a 20 minute rant towards me about ‘mothering’ her……. er i dont think so!

A week later (after we thought things were all sorted) a girl turns up at our door with a suitcase. Housemate turns her ‘attitude mode’ on full and expresses that we shouldnt have to be told and we shouldnt have a problem with it. Really?!

Now…after we the incidents have occurred, it has been overheard that the reason we have a problem with all these unexpected visits is due to race. She could not be more wrong.

Surely, the next logical step would  be to inform the landlady of the problems we have been having. We have a lack of response and she just down-play our problems, like you would a child’s falling out.

And so..understandably, things are a little tense in this house but hopefully things will turn out all right in the end.

Watch this space. A xo

Spoiler alert.

Moving in with strangers is always going to be a little frightening. Especially when it’s uni life and everything’s new and exciting and you’ve got 200,000 other things milling about in your brain that you’ve picked up at Welcome Week. But, you’ve gotta learn to live and get along!

It is not a wise idea to learn how to fend for yourself when you’re in a house with others. You’ve gotta learn things like:
1. DO NOT put metal objects in the microwave.
2. ALWAYS put toilet roll in the bathroom ((to avoid the embarassing ‘call for help’ after)).
3. DO the dishes – no one likes tidying someone else’s mess.
4. BOND. You have to take the time to get to know your house/flat mates, otherwise it’s gonna be a very awkward 10 months!!

….and those are just a few! 

It is not for your house/flatmates to mother you whilst you’re still ‘finding yourself’. It’s a give and take system. You’ve all got to be there and support EACH OTHER

So…if you’re one of those people that think it’s ok to be carried along by your friends….please please get a grip of yourself and grab that little bit of maturity that’s lurking somewhere in your priorities (probably behind the vodka shots and fresher’s week). 
Don’t spoil the fun — it’s not nice. 

Happy Living

A xo