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TECHNOLOGY REPORT - Kony 2012 Becomes Most Viral Video in History

Written by June Simms -- Monday, March 19, 2012 -- Views:

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Joseph Kony, Lord's Resistance Army leader and one of the world's most wanted rebels
Joseph Kony, Lord's Resistance Army leader and one of the world's most wanted rebels

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

Have you heard of Joseph Kony? Chances are you have. An American group placed a video about him on the YouTube website in early March. Since then, people around the world have watched the video more than eighty million times.

SOUND FROM KONY 2012: "For 26 years Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group the LRA, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers."

That is the voice of Jason Russell. He is with the American-based charity Invisible Children. It created the "Kony 2012" video to bring attention to Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. They hope the video will lead to his capture before the end of the year.

Public reaction to the film has been mixed. Many people are praising its creators for bringing attention to the issue. Just as many have criticized the work. They have questioned the video's trustworthiness and substance. Some have accused the creators of seeking financial gain. In Uganda, some people even rioted at recent showings of the film.

The video opens with the words "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." But some say timing is one of the problems. Louisa Lombard is a graduate student in Duke University's Department of Cultural Anthropology. Ms. Lombard has studied conflict and policy in Africa. She says much of information presented in the video is old.

LOUISA LOMBARD: "People watching this video get the impression that this is a northern Ugandan problem. When in fact, the LRA has not been operating in northern Uganda for years. They moved first to South Sudan, and then on to the Democratic Republic of the Congo into the Central African Republic. Where they are now is debatable."

Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York. He agreed that some of the information could be seen as misleading. But, he said the more important thing was to publicize Joseph Kony and the LRA.

PAUL LEVINSON: "I think this is a profoundly disturbing serious issue that needs to be brought to the attention of the world. And if it's slightly off in a fact or two that's a very very minor criticism."

Last Thursday, Jason Russell was hospitalized after San Diego police found him in his underwear, following reports that he had been screaming in the streets. The head of Invisible Children, Ben Keesy, said the filmmaker was "suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition."

And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.

Reader's Comments (1):
Author: Ada.jiang
i think this film is very good!
Author: onlyyoukun
I'am so moved by this movie!!! may they good luck!!
Author: hellen
Author: Evan
Author: Nicole
I feel shocked and moved.
i am grateful to the Americas who are make many contributions to the world, such as human right,science and technology
Author: 雪的世界
I was shocked.I hope that the power of all the people cloud arrest hinm right now.....
Author: zj1992
It's touching!
I feel so used,s.o.b.
Author: shadow
if you can do something for it ,just do it ,if you can not ,spread it and let more people know it
Author: King
想继续了解这个invisible children组织真相的可以去http://keepittrill.com/online/2012/03/kony-2012-scam-stop-supporting-invisible-children/看看。
Author: LierJason
now I am confused. but the intention of the film was achieved.
Author: GiGi
From the film, i can konw that there are a lot of children living in danger, and they are suffering form the force and povery. The only way we can do is helping them to stay away from the danger. Let every children can go to school , live happily with their family. now i think it is time for all of us to let the world konw KNONY,stop him. By the way ,the film is very good,moved.
Author: Daisy
I think everyone should watch the film.It's very good.I love you,but I miss you.I hope such things will not happen forever.
Author: zaiming
the veracity needs to be testified
Author: sam
Fuck you,, Kony,,you Asshole
Author: magie
It's a good shooting. but where is the Uganda government? Can't they take any actions to arrest Kony on their own? I wonder and get confused.
Author: Amy
moving! Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
Author: Linda
moving,the Americans are so great.
Author: Daisyshine
April 20,2012 is coming sooning.Actually,I'm looking forward to that day.It is threatening to know the fact that there are so many people who are living in that miserable circumstance.And now,I know Kony,I will let my friends know his crime,and just as the video said,I will do my best to make Kony famous!
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