Kony 2012 was a campaign created to make the public aware of the atrocities being committed in parts of Africa. This campaign was specifically targeted at Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. (more commonly referred to as the LRA)
Photo of Child Soldier
Like other rebel groups throughout central Africa, the LRA's goals mostly included consolidating power for themselves and staying dominant. They did this by instilling fear into the citizens in the surrounding areas and kidnapping approximately 60,000 male youth to use as fighters.
Photo of Joseph Kony
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for Kony in 2005 for crimes ranging from, crimes against humanity, to human trafficking. Due to priorities of the ICC and the instability and lack of government in the region these crimes went mostly unnoticed and unpunished for years.
Kony 2012 Poster
Over time organization began to raise money to try and get some international support to help alleviate the plight of the people Kony was harming, but Kony went into hiding to wait out the exposure.
That is when the Kony 2012 campaign began. The purpose of the campaign was to "Make him famous" so the government and the public would not forget over time and allow Kony to come out of hiding.
The idea was to plaster posters and stickers all around public areas so that everyone would be reminded when they saw it. Many people got behind this idea including the Invisible Children Foundation. The campaign began to sell posters and other items, the proceeds of which would go toward the cause.
The campaign gained massive amounts of attention for a course of a few months, but after a some time it did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do, it died off.
During 2012, the Invisible Children foundation raised a massive 28 million dollars which it used to expand its central African efforts, but as of 2014 they announced that they no longer had enough funding to operate. The campaign was also heavily criticized for the way they appropriated the funds raised with a majority of it not ever going to Africa.
Over all the campaign was unsuccessful at achieving its goal of bringing Joseph Kony into custody, but what it did was lay the groundwork for other large scale campaigns by using social media as its main means of communication.
The at first glance appears to have had some success through eliminating 3 of the 5 leaders of the LRA, and reducing deaths caused by them by 93%, but that can be mostly attributed to other rebel faction taking control and the killings and abductions have over all not changed much.