In today’s society convergence links heavily towards participation, and how such participation can become addictive. Convergence also alters the role of audiences in their interaction with digital media platforms and content. KONY 2012 Campaign is a prime example of participation, more specifically how participation is addictive and that a rise of participatory culture leads to political potential.
In brief, the Stop KONY Campaign directed and narrated by Jason Russell created awareness and support for the invisible children in East and Central African countries, and stopping Leader ‘KONY’ for his cruel actions and intentions in creating child soldiers. This story picked up pace and after several YouTube videos stating it’s cause and acts to help, participation kicked in. It became evident that participation is addictive after celebrities joined the cause; George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.
This inclusion of ‘A class’ celebrities lead to a rise in participatory culture whereby people from all across the globe joined the cause. Donation’s to the website, purchasing KONY packages and setting up posters made it apparent that the campaign was pushing for political potential.
And yes it certainly achieved Political intervention, the campaign featured “12 Policy Makers’ that had the power to keep US government officials in Africa, in order to capture Kony and prevent Child Soldiers. Some of these officials included, Former President George W. Bush and current Secretary of State, John Kerry.
The question that many asked was, Why wasn’t the child soldiers in Africa found out about earlier? Well, it actually was. And this question raised eyebrows to the campaign. Was it a campaign out of love, or for money, wealth and greed?
The KONY campaign reached out to many, and is a great example in how participation through participatory culture, can lead to political potential.