Kickstriker needs $3 million to capture Joseph Kony
How much will it cost to capture Joseph Kony? $3 million. The price required to help build a Tibetan militia that will resist Chinese rule? $350,000.
For albums and artists, there’s Kickstarter. For bankrolling the implementation of crowd-funded warfare, it’s best to turn to Kickstriker.
Founded last week by three graduate students in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, Kickstriker is the leading fundraising platform for activists, engineers and others working to resolve global conflicts.
“We believe that crowdfunding holds the potential to address many conflicts around the globe by allowing those who care to directly support potential solutions,” the students wrote on the site’s About page.
“These solutions might take the form of military action, supplying equipment and arms to those in need or the development of new military technologies with immediate applications in the field. Rather than waiting for national governments, coalitions and international bodies like the UN, NATO, EU and AU to decide to address a conflict—a process that can take years of deliberation—Kickstriker users are funding solutions that can be on the ground in weeks.”
The site does comes with one little caveat, however: it’s fake—basically. You can’t actually give money to Capture Kony: Bring Joseph Kony to Justice no matter how enticing the rewards. ($50,000 donations net you one of Kony’s teeth. $1 million gets you the warlord’s entire skull.)
Instead, clicking through to pledge for a Kickstriker project leads visitors to a dialog box, one that gives you the chance to donate money to four charities actually worthy of your money. Right now, the charities offered include Reprieve, an organization working to enforce the human rights of prisoners; the African Youth Initiative Network, a group that strives to rehabilitate youth affected by the war in Uganda; the Tibet Fund, an organization dedicated to improving the livelihood of Tibetans; and the American Civil Liberties Union, a group that advocates for the implementation of national security policies that are consistent with the Constitution.
“Our starting point was ‘Kony 2012’,” site cofounder Mehan Jayasuriya told Tumblr blogger Evan Fleischer. “We all really liked Teju Cole’s piece in the Atlantic (“The White Savior Industrial Complex”) and were talking about what James has called the ‘commodification of altruism.’
“Our initial idea was to use the project page for Kony to take that idea to its logical, ghoulish conclusion. From there we came up with the DIY drone idea—since we’re all DIY technologists of a sort, it was easy for us to imagine a project that would appeal to many geek sensibilities (open-source! Arduino!) in a way that would pull people in, despite the terrifying implications of putting something like this out into the world. And from there we just started spitballing ideas for projects—whatever made us laugh the most made it in to the site.”
A funny concept about initiatives that are anything but a laughing matter. Kickstriker: the new method to crowdfunding the fight for human welfare.