Jason Russell is not the only one in a lather about Joseph Kony. Many Chinese netizens, though perhaps not ready to go the full monty like Russell, are mad about Kony and keen to do their part to make the wanted African warlord famous. (Tea Leaf Nation wishes Russell a full recovery from whatever ails him.)
Chinese netizens have started Kony 2012 groups on Weibo, with one called the KONY2012 Special Action Group, apparently organized by someone affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Art, garnering over one hundred thousand followers. It is joined by other groups such as Kony 2012 China, Kony 2012 China Area Alliance, Kony 2012 Shanghai (source of the title image) and Kony 2012 Chengdu.
Let’s Make Kony Famous
Netizens in these groups and in the blogosphere at large are strongly in favor of making Kony famous, with @乐阳樂享L陽光 tweeting from Hunan: “I hope everyone can quietly finish [this video] and move your fingers to retweet it so that more people can know about Joseph Kony’s crimes, because we are all children of the Earth, we are all human.”
@LOKI_YUE from Xi’an writes, “I’m just expressing my normal desire as a citizen of the world for freedom, justice and life: It doesn’t matter who he is or what the color his skin, all should be free of terror and slaughter.”
@杜小困 from Guangzhou, perhaps fearing a Chinese tweet would be lost on Joseph Kony, expressed his feelings about the warlord in English: “Kony,i’m come from China,and i wanna make u famous!! F*%^ you!!”
@Rosa_sunflower tweets from Hefei: “I was very touched after watching the Kony 2012 video. There is so much evil in such distant corners of the world. I felt the strength of people taking action together and felt moved by the people who are fighting for the cause of justice. ‘Too often we did nothing…so let’s do something.’ I feel we should broaden our gaze to care about these matters that, although they appear far away, we should all feel responsibility for.”
@我叫猪肝君 tweets from Shandong, in an apparent call to action on a university campus: “I finally got the posters for Kony 2012. No matter what, after seeing those poor children I always felt this is a very meaningful cause. Although my power is puny, you are different. I hope agricultural university kids start sharing this. I hope that one day the agricultural university’s campus will be filled with red flags!” [NB: the Kony 2012 posters are red.]
Indeed, some Chinese activists, in a potentially less-than-“harmonious” move, seem to have taken their campaign against Kony to the streets. @KONY2012-中国 shared a picture of Kony 2012 posters having been put up near what is purportedly a technical college in the southern city of Shenzhen, along with the tweet “People have already started putting up posters. What about you?”
Not So Sure About Kony 2012
@乌龟三明治 felt China had more than its fair share of problems to take care of close to home, “My reaction after I watched Kony 2012 is that our country has so many unfortunate people who have no home to return to, why should we put our attention on problems that we can’t control in other countries?”
@RICO包菲妹儿 tweeted her concerns about the veracity of the video [which is not being helped by the controversy over misinformation in the video]: “After watching the video about Kony, my first feeling was he should definitely die, even ten thousand deaths is not enough. But then I thought about it more carefully and felt could it be that this is America spreading rumors again, using this opportunity to accomplish its aims? There is too much fake information out there, anything can be faked. I really don’t know what to believe any more.”
@鸡血毛 just seems to be glad he’s safe and sound in good old China, “As I’m watching Kony 2012 I feel, at the same time, that it’s such a tragedy, that Americans really try to manage a lot of things [around the world], that it’s really good not to be living in Africa, that life here is really pretty good…so complicated.”
All Hail Social Media
@哈喽逦迦迪, in a comment that reflects on the power of the modern Internet: “These days the development of social media and mobile phone networks has enabled videos to go viral, valuable information no longer needs traditional media’s blessing in order to be broadcast. If you can be as captivating as Kony 2012, then YOU are the greatest of media.”
Perhaps it is the Chinese government rather than Joseph Kony that has the most cause for concern over the gathering momentum of the Kony 2012 campaign in China.