The situation in Uganda is a human tragedy, of that there is no doubt. Joseph Kony and his Lords Resistance Army have committed a number of atrocities, including stealing children for use as soldiers. I must admit to knowing very little about this issue. However, when people start spreading stuff round the internet, asking for donations, and people forward it without question, I say: Don’t just send it on. It may not be true.
Always question things first. There are plenty of good sites that allow you to query what you find on the net. Here is an excellent page from the Facecrooks site which tries to balance out the story, and provides links to both sides of the argument.
For example it shows the “Invisible Children” video but also points to what was perhaps the first blog that raised the alarm about IC back in 2006.
There is no doubt that Joseph Kony is an evil person, although his forces have been driven out of Uganda. However there is evidence that the Government forces in Uganda are equally as bad – when it comes to recruiting child soldiers. And there is also the issue of the criminalisation of gays. It seems that “Invisible Children” supports this government.
Anyway, the jury’s out on this one. But this is an example of something I knew nothing about, but saw stuff on Facebook walls, did a little look around, it really isn’t that hard.
No matter how outraged you are, no matter how emotive the subject, always check before you pass on stories and campaigns.