Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 video is a testament to the power of using social media to build awareness of a global issue. Upon the video’s March release, #KONY2012 spread across the Internet like wildfire, asking viewers to stop Ugandan rebel leader, Joseph Kony, and his brutal tactics for building an army of children. But, like any viral trend, the effort to #STOPKONY didn’t make the trip through cyberspace unscathed.
The organization behind the video, as well as its co-founder, Jason Russell, were heavily criticized by advocacy groups for simplifying a complex issue and promoting a “colonialist” solution to an international problem.
Invisible Children now offers a rebuttal to the backlash with KONY 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous, which addresses the saturated media coverage and gives a closer look at the international efforts being used to stop the Lord’s Resistance Army. The video also promotes an event called Cover the Night, scheduled for April 20, 2012 and aimed to “move the conversation from the digital to the physical world, where this conflict is happening, and where real change can be made.”
It is worthy to note that Russell, who was largely responsible for the first video, is no where to be seen and barely mentioned in the sequel. It seems that since his very public breakdown following all of the media hype, he’s been replaced as narrator by Invisible Children’s CEO Ben Keesey.