Likely along with many others, I was both moved by the Kony2012 viral video (if you’re one of the very few who hasn’t seen it, for discussion, it’s at this link), and then entirely offended and saddened to hear about the vulgar public meltdown had by Jason Russell (Kony 2012’s director, founder and spokesman) this past Friday in the streets of San Diego.
The whole thing made me take a pause and consider what the greater implications of this phenomenon mean to our society. Are we now ok with getting partially incorrect information as long as on the upside we’re being made “aware” of an injustice? Are we ok with other less ideal vehicles being pushed to mainstream as long as they are partially, or in some minor way carrying that message in the name of “awareness” (see article re: Charlie Sheen’s ex-girlfried shoots racy viral vid to “promote”
herself Kony 2012)
I read a really interesting article on Forbes.com today that introduces and probes this exact line of questioning, discussing use of half-truths to spread a message and drive attention (either to a cause or the person behind the cause) with a sometime wanton disregard for telling the full truth. You should check it out. See quotes below:
”I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard.” – Quote from Mike Daisey (who “exposed” working conditions at Apple factories in China with half-false information)
“The manipulation of the truth to get you to care followed by the assertion that onus is on the audience to delve deeper. I’m sorry, but if something is being presented as true, as non-fiction, as journalism it should actually be true. ”
“Both Daisey and Russell cut corners and convinced themselves that it was justified because the dramatic arc of the story is true.”
Interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section.