Going viral on Twitter, Facebook, and within the blogosphere seemingly overnight, Kony 2012 has made a huge impact, but retained a mysterious quality. You might be thinking, what is Kony 2012? Well, according to Jason Russell, the narrator and director of this 30 minute long video, Kony 2012 is the campaign sponsored by Invisible Children, a non-profit organization that is aiming to bring attention to Joseph Kony.
Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel force in Uganda. Kony 2012 is aiming to pressure the United States government to send aid to Uganda and for twenty ‘culture makers’ and twelve ‘policy makers’ to advocate for this cause. The viral video has been viewed approximately 79 million times on YouTube and is continuously being spread through various social media outlets.
As the view count continues to climb, responses are being voiced and ranges of emotions are being felt. Recently, The Washington Post reported that a screening of the film in Uganda was meet with anger. Rocks apparently were thrown at the screen and The National Post published that other screenings in the country were cancelled. Many different critics accuse Invisible Children of oversimplifying a complex issue and catering to only a Western audience.
There have also been charges that facts in the video have been manipulated or altered to adhere to Russell’s vision. The video, while astoundingly popular, has not been viewed without controversy.