WORLD -- March 8, 2012 at 5:20 PM ET
'Kony 2012' Video About Vicious Rebel Leader Raises Awareness, Criticism
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Photo by Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images.
Kony, who's been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, and other members of the Lord's Resistance Army are notorious for kidnapping children and forcing the boys to fight and the girls to be sex slaves.
It's been tweeted and retweeted millions of times, and received congratulations from the White House. But it also generated a backlash against the San Diego-based group and criticisms that the video is oversimplified, promotes military intervention and is self-serving. (Read Invisible Children's response.)
The video starts by describing an increasingly connected world through technology and a boy, Jacob, whom the filmmakers met years ago in Gulu, Uganda. He tells them about the dangerous encounters children have with rebels in northern Uganda. About nine minutes into the video, it turns to explaining who Kony is and the Lord's Resistance Army. "It's obvious that Kony should be stopped, but the problem is that 99 percent of the planet doesn't know who he is," the narrator says.
Invisible Children says it seeks to address that gap by asking viewers to contact celebrities such as Oprah, Tim Tebow and Rush Limbaugh, and policymakers to encourage action against Kony and the LRA. The group also asks supporters to send money for supplies and on April 20 to meet at sundown to blanket their towns with posters and stickers aimed at raising awareness for their cause.
In October, President Obama agreed to send 100 special forces to Africa to provide advice and assistance -- but not enter combat -- in the hunt for Kony and other Lord's Resistance Army members. (Read President Obama's letter to Congress.) The group celebrates this development in their video.
On Thursday's NewsHour, we'll have more about the video, the criticism and the state of the Lord's Resistance Army with Dawn Arteaga, digital strategist with Porter Novelli, and Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Watch a 2010 NewsHour report on a rehabilitation center in Uganda that helps former LRA child soldiers:
A 2007 NewsHour report describes why peace talks with the LRA have failed. View more of our World coverage and follow us on Twitter.