The makers of a wildly popular Internet video that shone light on the brutality of African warlord Joseph Kony released a sequel on Thursday.
The California advocacy group Invisible Children produced "Kony 2012," hoping to raise awareness about Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, and his use of children soldiers. And, with more than 100 million online views, it did just that. The sequel, called "Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous," seeks to get people off of their computers and out in the community.
“The purpose of the first movie was to make Joseph Kony famous,” Ben Keesey, chief executive officer of Invisible Children, told The New York Times. “That was step one. Now we want to connect awareness to action and to get people to contact policy makers.”
While many praised the video for shining a light on an important issue, some criticized "Kony 2012" for misleading viewers about the activities of the LRA and oversimplifying Uganda's 26-year war. Others reamed Invisible Children for spending too much money encouraging Americans to buy T-shirts and bracelets and too little money helping Africans.
Part II addresses those criticisms, walking viewers through a more in-depth explanation of the LRA and outlining a step-by-step plan of action. On April 20, the video instructed viewers to "meet at sundown and blanket every street in every city" with "hundreds of thousands of posters demanding justice."
"We want people to dig deeper into this conflict and actively engage in the solutions," Keesey said in a statement.
Some critics still weren't sold.
"One of the major criticisms of the previous video was that it simplified a complex issue," Craig Valters, an academic who works in the London School of Economics and has researched the LRA, told The Guardian. "They appear to have answered that in this video by repeatedly saying 'the situation is complex.'"
"Beyond Famous," which had been viewed about 307,000 times by 8 p.m. on Thursday, failed to significantly trend on social media websites on its day of debut.
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