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The Kony 2012 Controversy: Does this discussion apply?

Invisible Children has been widely criticized for the way it highlighted warlord Joseph Kony and his Lords Resistance Army. Specifically, skeptics tore through their financial statements and methodology, branding the movement as the poster-child for 'slacktivism'. Does Mr. Pallotta's TED talk apply here, or did Invisible Children act beyond the boundaries that the speaker listed?


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  • Mar 14 2013: I had much the same response. In fact, I wrote a piece about this very issue a few months ago for the IR Journal here at UCLA.

    The Slacktivism of Generation @:

    "...Lastly, and with a view to looking at Slacktivism in general, an argument can be made that dismissing 100 million views as mere “sound and fury” misses an important lesson from the “real” world of business. The Direct Marketing Association states that on average you can expect to get a 2.6% response rate to a direct marketing campaign. From 100 million views, that translates into over 2.6 million “customers.” In fact, the DMA suggests that the direct response rate for non-profit campaigns is closer to 5.23%. The idea that people would willingly respond to unsolicited advertising, and yet somehow would NOT respond to a viral campaign appears to be illogical. If you read an advertisement for a new iPad, you are an active consumer… but if you watch KONY 2012 you are a Slacktivist!"
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      Mar 16 2013: I agree with you Marquis, that campaign was pure marqueting genius and while we were busy branding it as slacktivism, we should have been studying how they did it and why people responded so much. Other non-profits could learn from it, though they might want to avoid the white savior complex that reeked in the video

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