Avid Twitter users may have noticed #stopkony has been trending for a number hours, and they may have already seen dozens of links to a 27-minute video that has quickly gained over 2 million views on YouTube. The campaign was started by an organization called Invisible Children, and it has gotten the attention of dozens of celebrities.
The charity works to raise awareness about the situation in Uganda by making Joseph Kony, the violent leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, “famous.” Actually, Kony is quickly becoming infamous due to the number of children he’s abducted and “brainwashed” into becoming sex slaves and soldiers in his army, according to The New York Times.
The video shows the conditions of many living in Uganda. Filmmaker Jason Russell introduces viewers to his friend, Jacob, a Ugandan whom he’s known for over 10 years. He lost his brother and tells Russell, “It’s better if you kill us,” because he feels he has a hopeless future. Russell promises Joseph that he will help stop Kony. President Obama deployed 100 armed military advisers in October 2011 to assist regional forces in their fight against Kony.
The video is definitely stirring, and stars from Glee, Vampire Diaries, Jersey Shore, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, as well as musicians like Nicki Minaj and Diddy, have all tweeted with the #stopkony tag. To offer a different perspective, author Neil Gaiman tweeted a link to the video, adding, “I'm uncomfortable calling for military action in any circumstances. http://j.mp/A7d08d points out why.” The link goes to a Tumblr that agrees Joseph Kony “is a very evil man” but is critical of the way Invisible Children is run.
The film says one of their main goals is to make Kony a household name and bring attention to his crimes. In that respect, they’ve already succeeded.