A note to teachers: this video report contains disturbing images.
For 26 years, war criminal Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army have been kidnapping children into his rebel group, the LRA, turning the young girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers.
According to reports, Kony makes the children mutilate people's faces and forces them to kill their own parents. And this is not just a few children. It's been over 30,000 of them.
In order to bring more attention to Kony and his army, a non-profit group named Invisible Children posted a 30-minute video on YouTube. Its purpose is to document atrocities committed by Kony and his followers in Uganda and Central Africa.
Over the course of the week, the number of views on YouTube alone skyrocketed from a few thousand on Monday to more than 38 million. It was most popular with young people ages 13 to 24.
The campaign against Kony is not new. In 2005, the International Criminal Court accuseed him for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Last October, President Obama sent 100 U.S. special forces to Africa to aid in Kony's capture. But Invisible Children said it wants Kony and his crimes to be so well-known that global pressure will force the U.S. and other nations to do much more.
(At the 3:50 mark in the video, Margaret Warner discusses the nonprofit Invisible Children's popular "Kony 2012" video and its criticism with the Institute for Policy Studies' Emira Woods and Porter Novelli's Dawn Arteaga.)
"Invisible Children says it wants Kony and his crimes to be so well-known that global pressure will force the U.S. and other nations to do much more," - Margaret Warner, PBS NewsHour correspondent.
1. What springs to mind when you hear the term 'war criminal'?
2. Have you heard of or seen the "Kony 2012" video? Discuss.
3. Do you think this campaign will work? Why or why not?
1. What does it mean when something goes 'viral'?
2. How useful is Facebook or YouTube in a campaign like this?
3. What are some ways young people around the U.S. can help with the campaign? Discuss.
4. What do you know about the Lord's Resistance Army?