On March 6, a viral video campaign smashed viewing records. 'Kony 2012' was produced by a US-based NGO named Invisible Children and called for support in arresting a Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony.
Less than a week after it was released, it had been viewed more than 80 million times. But as the number of hits grew, so did the criticisms. Commentators accused it over simplifying a complex situation, being inaccurate and portraying Ugandans in a negative light.
Despite the reactions, the video has marked a watershed moment in online campaigning. Once upon a time, NGOs had to rely on mainstream media to get their message out. But in a modern, multi-media world, this has changed.
While some see this as a good thing, others, namely the communities NGOs work with, are calling for a more accurate representation to be reflected. In this week's feature, Meenakshi Ravi looks at the new kids on the media block.
"There is this image of helpless, hopeless, dying, desperate victims of Africa that NGOs are portraying about this continent and of course you know, it does help them to raise the money, but it's a blight on Africa and Africans.... I think NGOs should start carrying signs on their campaigns like you have on the cigarette boxes that says something like 'use with caution'. Honestly, I think we have to stop these campaigns that create this dependency syndrome."
Sorious Samura, an investigative journalist
Source: Al Jazeera