By Pat Walsh, StayClassy
[pullquote3 align=”center”]”We have never claimed a desire to ‘save Africa,’ but, instead, an intent to inspire Western youth to ‘do more than just watch.'” – Invisible Children[/pullquote3]
For 24-hours after polls closed Tuesday evening, the top trends across all social media were not about Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul, the top trends were about the human rights campaign of a San Diego-based nonprofit started by three college filmmakers seven years ago.
Invisible Children launched the KONY2012 campaign at 12pm PST on Super Tuesday with the upload of the compelling – and now famous – video created by cofounder Jason Russell. At 11pm PST on Tuesday night, #stopkony, “Invisible Children” and “Uganda” were three of the Top 10 Twitter trends in the country. Thirty-six hours later, those terms are still in the Top 10. Super Tuesday – and the Republican candidates – missed the cut.
The top 10 Super Tuesday-related YouTube videos posted over the past week generated 390K views. In just two days, the KONY2012 campaign video alone has generated nearly 52M views – greater by more than two orders of magnitude.
According to Topsy.com, which measures mentions within Twitter that are “significant and valid” based on retweets and removing any bots or spammed sources, “Rick Santorum”, “Mitt Romney”, “Ron Paul”, “Newt Gingrich” and “Super Tuesday” cumulatively had about 182 thousand mentions on March 6. “Kony 2012” – which launched halfway through the day – had more than 1.4 million.
It’s remarkable that a charitable campaign focusing on the atrocities of a third-world warlord was able to so comprehensively take over social media on one of the most critical days in the country’s political calendar. Whether this is a reflection of a shift in the priorities of our younger generations, or the dilution of political noise in the social spectrum – what we witnessed in the hours after Super Tuesday is a testimonial to a nonprofit organization that took over headlines worldwide. Invisible Children set out to inspire Western youth to “do more than just watch“, and they did – they shared.