BY LUKE LEONARD
ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN
A documentary film released online is gaining worldwide attention. With more than 9 million views on YouTube and Vimeo in just two weeks, the viral film aims to thrust an African military rebel leader onto the public stage.
“This movie expires on December 31st 2012. And its only purpose is to stop the rebel group - the L.R.A., and their leader Joseph Kony. And I’m about to tell you exactly how we’re going to do it.”
The man behind the film — Jason Russell, is looking to raise awareness of the Lord’s Resistance Army’s rise to power in Uganda. Independent Television News has more on the rebel group.
“Indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2006 for war crimes including recruiting child soldiers and sex slaves, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has since evaded capture.”
TIME reports on the scale of the L.A.R.’s alleged crimes:
“Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army began its violent rise in 1986, and the group is believed to have abducted 66,000 children and displaced over two million people, turning young boys into child soldiers, younger girls into sex slaves …”
The Toronto Star says the filmmaker is involved in the charity Invisible Children — which plans to boost awareness of the doc through a grassroots campaign.
“The movement also hopes to ‘Cover the Night’ in cities around the world on April 20 in an old-school campaign to plaster places such as Toronto with posters, stickers and banners. The poster … shows Kony alongside Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler.”
A-list celebrities are coming out in support of the campaign. Pop singer Rhianna tweeted to her 14 million followers the trending hashtag #KONY2012 and
“PLEASE go to Invisiblechildren.com Even if its 10 minutes... Trust me, you NEED to know about this!”
TechCrunch notes: the viral nature of the video is yet another example of the power shift from legacy media to the internet.
“While once the mainstream media had to get involved, now the combined power of millions through the Internet can have an even bigger impact. This is another coming of age moment for YouTube, for Twitter, and for society. It’s time to use our clicks to take a stand.”