Comment on Vanessa’s Entry!


I never thought about presenting a complex issue in person creates less controversy because there are usually less people involved. It made me think of how when people are discussing an issue in person, they also are probably more likely to give into “group think”, where they just tend to take on the perspectives of others in the group. Through social media, issues probably become more controversial, and therefore even more complex, because people don’t usually censor themselves as much and are willing to speak their mind when they are hiding behind a computer.




Drawing on our discussion about the Kony2012 controversy, please write a blog post on the following:
A number of bloggers have raised questions about oversimplification, the sharing of important information and social media. Please reflect upon the following two questions. 
Is it possible to convey complex ideas/messages via social media? 
To paraphrase Ethan Zuckerman, if we want people to not only pay attention to issues we care about, but also to “spread the word”, do the narratives have to be simplified?
The Kony 2012 campaign that has been viewed by many and certainly caused a lot of controversy. After viewing the video for the first time by a friend through Facebook, it was pretty moving. Obviously, the main point of the film was to explain the situation in Uganda and capture their hearts by telling a compelling story. It seemed to work because Kony 2012 became viral all over the internet in such a short amount of time.

Up until my class in Social Media discussed Kony 2012, I never really thought too much about it; I had read that there was a bit of controversy about the video, but did not have a strong desire to learn more about what problems that people had with the video. Talking about the video in my class did spark some interesting conversation that I had never thought of before. For example, one person brought up that the video was made more for profit; it was unclear where actually all the donations go. The makers of the video could be getting rich off a lot of money quickly and the public wouldn’t even know it.

Obviously, this video has complex ideas and messages and was conveyed through various social medias on the internet. I think that complicated ideas can be shared on the internet (there have been many of them out there already) but people are going to disagree. It does not matter what medium is used to present the idea. I also think that it is possible that the maker of the video wanted its audience to think a certain way about a subject, so the video can be skewed.

Spreading the word on social media can cause much more controversy; it can be presented to a much wider audience. This allows for the chance of more people to disagree. If the Kony 2012 video was only shown to a small number of people, it certainly would not have as much controversy. Finally, I think that messages need to be simple enough to understand but not overly simple that it makes people look stupid. It is highly important that the audience is considered when making a video, so they can be tailored to their needs.

One response to “Comment on Vanessa’s Entry!

  1. Totally just read this 😛

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