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Blog: Social Networks and the Marketplace of Progression

Posted by - 01:51 AM on 03/08/12
Yesterday, a fire spread across the web of our social networks when Invisible Children posted a video to spread awareness of Joseph Kony. Beyond the topic of the video itself, it was very interesting to watch people's reactions to it throughout the afternoon, and their "knowledge" of what Invisible Children does and doesn't do. Seeing as word spreads quickly, IC had their own response to such "knowledge" which was also getting around the same social platforms as the video had just done. At the beginning of February, I went a week without social networks, I've been jotting down a lot of thoughts in the weeks that have passed with having it back, but I think yesterday's discussion, or lack thereof, is just the glue I needed to put them all together. You can read my thoughts on how yesterday collapsed the marketplace of ideas in my eyes, but how we can better ourselves when stories and issues like these hit our social feeds. What are some of your thoughts on social networks being sort of the primary source of information some are using these days? How well do you research a political or social discussion you may have been linked to from a friend beyond the link that was sent to you?
 
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02:07 AM on 03/08/12
#2
Illustratory
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That was a fantastic read. Thanks!

Ultimately it's amazing that people can motivate and mobilise themselves through social networks to raise attention for such a worthy cause, but Facebook etc. shouldn't be the sole source of information for people. It should promote debate but also encourage people to go out alone and find things out for themselves and only then form their own opinions instead of relatively blindly following the biggest issue of the moment.

A more open world would be great, but I still think it's a more sobering thought that people lived unaware of such issues for so long and really does allude to the scope of the world away from the internet and social networks where so many people in the west live the majority of their lives.
02:40 AM on 03/08/12
#3
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the news spread like forest fire, i find out about a lot of news via Facebook. Its actually pretty rad seeing so many people get involved with something/anything. I just wish more topics would come about and catch the attention of so many people as was the case for kony.
05:47 AM on 03/08/12
#4
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i definitely don't let things like Facebook/Reddit/etc influence political issues and such. I think people need to be careful these days with shit like that. I mean people are acting like this is the first african warlord to exploit their people, and as a History Bachelor, this really gets to me. However, I have to be mindful that maybe not every body does know. After all, we do live in a world where people think the president isn't from America. Its great for IC to get exposure on this level which they have needed for many years, i know i have probably donated about 60-80 dollars over the years through music events. However, people need to be verrrry careful because this type of social interaction opens up the door for scams. People need to remember that there is a whole world out there where people in England are sleeping, workers in Japan are feeding their families, and Villages in Africa are being exploited as you read this. There are many, many issues out there that need attention of the public and perhaps jersey shore episodes are not a good trade off for social activism after all.
06:04 AM on 03/08/12
#5
j'aime_lacey
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beautiful times ten
07:10 AM on 03/08/12
#6
COLEMAN902
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really great read, considering I also coincidentally took a social network hiatus, then came back and spent all of yesterday reading blogs about the kony situation. some really interesting thoughts here.
07:19 AM on 03/08/12
#7
kennedyAM
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great thoughts, Adam. I actually work in advertising with an agency and do a lot of social networking work and research and you are pretty much spot on with your thoughts.

As for personally, I always research topics that come to my attention or that I find important. It's always good to be informed on EVERY SIDE OF THE ISSUE, not just the side you agree with or the side you believe is right. Kony is no different. If you support it, be educated on why others don't. It puts a lot of ease in your mind and allows you to make an educated opinion for yourself.

Social media is a new and exciting form of traditional media advertising with a lot of new aspects (new within the last 5 years). It's not newspaper or TV that we turn to first like we use too, it's often twitter and facebook. Exciting to see from an advertising perspective, but scary from a personal standpoint at how powerful it can (and ultimately will) be, knowing a lot of people abuse it and don't form opinions, they take what they read at face value. Scary thought.
08:10 AM on 03/08/12
#8
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Let me just say, before I comment on the article, fuck that Kony bullshit. Yeah, it's great to bring awareness to the atrocities, but the more I read about the organization who created the video the more it smells like bullshit. What a shame.
08:19 AM on 03/08/12
#9
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Let me just say, before I comment on the article, fuck that Kony bullshit. Yeah, it's great to bring awareness to the atrocities, but the more I read about the organization who created the video the more it smells like bullshit. What a shame.

There's a good blog on Time's website that says the Kony video is missing a lot of key facts.

Bunch of suckers fell for it. I lol at their "please watch this" posts on Facebook.
08:24 AM on 03/08/12
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There's a good blog on Time's website that says the Kony video is missing a lot of key facts.

Bunch of suckers fell for it. I lol at their "please watch this" posts on Facebook.

I had the same feeling. Although I did have a few friends go on the comments section of the original Facebook post and start tearing it apart. That made me happy...and helped me believe in humanity. Not everyone is part of the flock.

I don't want to sound like a tyrant because I actually have some very strong opinions and feelings on those issues, but that whole video campaign felt shallow from the start. Once it was leaking all over Facebook and some dumbass girls, and guys, starting writing the "let's make a difference posts," I was immediately turned off.

Jog the fuck on.
08:25 AM on 03/08/12
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There's a good blog on Time's website that says the Kony video is missing a lot of key facts.

Bunch of suckers fell for it. I lol at their "please watch this" posts on Facebook.

Also, do you have a link??? I'd love to read it.
08:29 AM on 03/08/12
defy_stars
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08:29 AM on 03/08/12
Holly HoX!
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08:30 AM on 03/08/12
oceanblue
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Adam I commend you for speaking your mind in an eloquent fashion, so many people are eager to jump on bandwagons and look down on those who don't blindly follow them.
08:39 AM on 03/08/12
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I'm glad you guys are getting the gist of what I was aiming at, and I don't want this thread to turn into bashing Invisible Children, because I know a lot of great people who back the organization, and I only hope that in the end they're doing something commendable. Again, I watched half the video before having to turn it off. I'm also the kind of person who feels uncomfortable when those UNICEF commercials come on or I see incapacitated people in public - i have a big heart, what can I say.

that being said, as another example, I think what TWLOHA is doing is great. I'm sure there's people who just buy a t-shirt because some band wore one in a promo shot, without ever really researching what the organization does and what they could potentially do to help, and to me, that's weird.

politics are an issue I sort of stay out of, but I'm also the kind of person who reads news publications and watches the Daily Show - have to see all sides of an issue.

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