With more than 100 million views in under a week, Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video became the most viral video in history. Celebrities touted its message, #stopkony and #kony2012 took over Twitter and the media had a field day. But with the attention came a tangled mixture of harsh criticism and praise, eventually leading to co-founder and film director Jason Russell’s meltdown in San Diego.
The CEO of Invisible Children, Ben Keesey, already released one follow-up video in response to criticism about the non-profit’s business practices. The organization is also planning to launch a sequel, Kony 2012 Part II, which will offer a more holistic look at the conflict and counter arguments concerning distorted facts and “slacktivism,” referring to the tendency to passively share links without taking action. Though the organization’s Facebook cover photo says the sequel will premiere today, the second installment actually will not air until later this week, according to Mashable. The exact date has not been specified.
The organization’s director of ideology, Jedidiah Jenkins, told Reuters the sequel is intended for an international audience and will more accurately chronicle the conflict in Uganda. That means more specifics about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistant Army (LRA) as well as representation from those in areas where Kony is currently based — Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additionally, Part II will revisit Invisible Children’s “Cover the Night,” an event that encourages young people to spend five hours volunteering on April 20.
Despite its loaded reception, Invisible Children’s original 30-minute video about the Ugandan warlord did achieve at least one of its core goals, to “make Kony famous.” Not only did it successfully establish Kony as a household name, but it also sparked an international conversation. According to ABC, U.S. lawmakers have called for more financial support for African troops fighting Kony’s army, and last week the United Nations announced efforts to help 5,000 African soldiers coordinate against the rebel army.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told the AFP and Reuters he thinks Kony will be arrested this year thanks to the viral campaign. “The Invisible Children movie is adding the social interest that the institutions need to achieve results,” he said during a gathering of about 40 film directors, producers and actors in Los Angeles on Saturday. “We need this… attention to make the political leaders interested.”
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