This article was published on April 2, 2012

Graphed: The rise and fall of people caring about Kony and the LRA

Graphed: The rise and fall of people caring about Kony and the LRA

We are going to file this post in the ‘you knew it, but now you really know it’ category. Here’s the rub: remember that Kony 2012 video that exploded out of thin air, took over the Internet for several whole minutes, and caused a great host of teens to act ridiculously? As you might have guessed, the entire thing fell apart just as quick as it had assembled.

Google’s search history is a graphed map of our cultural whims, which makes it extremely relevant when something like Kony 2012 occurs. It’s data allows us to look at the trend of topics, their rise, fall, and continued momentum, if they have any.

Despite roaring hotter than Mount Doom, all that Kony hype hit the ice in a hurry once every middle schooler had seen the clip. Google explains:

That pretty much sums it up, I would say. Here’s why this matters: viral campaigns that are designed to spread ‘awareness,’ and I think that all would agree that Kony did just that, might not have the lasting impact that their creators dream that they will. Interest in Kony has declined to a level that is very similar to what it was before the documentary was produced.

Just in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, liking something on Facebook, generally speaking, doesn’t do a darn thing except ping the company’s servers with your action. I know that. You know that. But it appears that many of our younger fellows don’t. Let’s hope that they don’t think that they made much of a difference. That would be giving themselves positive credit for no results.

Still, I did not expect the decline to be that sudden. The graph is brutal. If the Lord’s Resistance Army can’t maintain or fury, what can? Well, her.

If you want a real look at the LRA, head here.