Kony 2012: How the Clip Caught Fire
UPDATE: The Invisible Children video about fugitive rebel leader Joseph Kony captured more than 70 million views by Friday morning, making it the fastest growing viral video in history, according to online measurement firm Visible Measures.
- The non-profit organization Invisible Children Inc. posted this 30-minute film about Joseph Kony, leader of the Ugandan rebel force, Lord's Resistance Army, to online video sites YouTube and Vimeo on Monday.
- The caption: "KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice."
As of Thursday afternoon, the video became a Web sensation, generating more than 41 million views, and it continues to gain steam, according to online measurement firm Visible Measures Corp. But the video also sparked controversy about the group behind the campaign and its motives.
- Invisible Children quickly turned to social media, using its Twitter and Facebook accounts to encourage people to share the film, donate to its campaign and sign a pledge "to help bring Kony to justice in 2012." By Thursday, Invisible Children had more than 329,000 Twitter followers and more than 2 million Facebook fans.
- This was @invisible's first tweet about the Kony film:
- Invisible Children's first Facebook post about Kony spurred more than 5,000 likes, more than 5,000 shares and more than 150 comments, including these:
- The "pop punk" crowd was the first to pay attention to Invisible Children's Kony message and start spreading it to its followers, says Shawn Roberts, director of marketing at social media analytics firm PeopleBrowsr.
- Among the first, was the official Twitter account for Vans Warped Tour, a music and extreme sports festival. Here is the message @VansWarpedTour posted on Monday:
- Twitter users mentioned "Kony" 712 times Monday, PeopleBrowsr says. By Tuesday, the topic had gained traction, generating 56,845 mentions, as celebrities and other so-called online influencers posted messages about the campaign to their followers in the next few days. They included:
- Pop star Rihanna:
- The actor Alec Baldwin
- Several messages from Sean Combs:
- Actress Zooey Deschanel:
- Ryan Seacrest:
- News personality Katie Couric:
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