There's a massively viral video circulating around the internet right now, begging you to help this group stop Joseph Kony -- a legitimately dangerous man who leads the Lord's Resistance Army, which has committed incredible human rights violations.
Here's the 29 minute video that's been circulating the internet this week:
The "charity" behind the viral (11+ million views in two days) video is called Invisible Children. It seems like a great idea to buy stuff and donate to them after watching the video, but stop and think about what you're doing for a second.
Take a look at this article from The Daily What:
The organization behind Kony 2012 — Invisible Children Inc. — is an extremely shady nonprofit that has been called ”misleading,” “naive,” and “dangerous” by a Yale political science professor, and has been accused by Foreign Affairs of “manipulat[ing] facts for strategic purposes.” They have also been criticized by the Better Business Bureau for refusing to provide information necessary to determine if IC meets the Bureau’s standards.
Additionally, IC has a low two-star rating in accountability from Charity Navigator because they won’t let their financials be independently audited. That’s not a good thing. In fact, it’s a very bad thing, and should make you immediately pause and reflect on where the money you’re sending them is going.
A closer look at their expenditure report
for June 2010-June 2011 is cause for more concern.
Out of $8,894,632 they spent, only $2,810,681 of that went to directly helping people. The rest went to Invisible Children making films, traveling around, paying employees, and whatever else they do that they don't want other people to know about.
Think before you get sucked into the latest viral phenomenon. It's important to help the people of Uganda, but it's even more important not to empower those who are seemingly duping the easily duped.