Document Type


First Faculty Advisor

Baran, Stanley


viral media; advocacy; kony 2012


Bryant University


This research paper analyzes the video “Kony 2012” as an example of advocacy film making and viral media. By analyzing critical sources, I draw conclusions as to why this video became the most viral video of all time and how other advocacy groups can use this phenomenon to learn about viral advocacy media. Using data from LexisNexis Academic, I track the popularity of “Kony 2012” via different forms of media (blogs, news articles, etc.) and compare my data to prior research conducted on social media sites. Ultimately, I will find that several key characteristics can be pinpointed as the primary cause for the film’s viral ability; including a pre-existing network of followers and the film’s ability to spread through social and traditional media. Additionally, I will conclude that the film’s inconsistent facts and the organizations behaviors played a role in the film’s demise.