Photo by Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images.
As of Monday morning, the half-hour Kony 2012 video that took the online world by storm last week had more than 73 million YouTube views. And with anything that rises to popularity that quickly comes its fair share of criticism.
CNN reports that Invisible Children, the San Diego-based nonprofit group behind the film, will release a new video, this one only about 10 minutes long, later Monday in a bid to address its critics, who have taken issue with the organization's transparency and say the filmmakers manipulated facts in telling the story of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army.
"There's nothing to hide—Invisible Children has been transparent since 2004, when we started," Ben Keesey, the group's chief executive, told the news network late Sunday. "That's our intention and we want to show that this campaign is part of a model and strategy that's comprehensive."
Invisible Children has been trying for years to focus the world's attention on Kony, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for such crimes against humanity as enlisting child soldiers in Uganda. But, after it struck viral gold, the group came under increased scrutiny last week. Some critics say that the film glossed over the context of the conflict and unfairly focuses on the LRA, while other groups in the region have used similarly atrocious tactics. Others, meanwhile, have criticized the nonprofit for spending only 30 percent of its proceeds to help Uganda’s children.
Jason Russell, the director of the film and one of Invisible Children's founders, doesn't dispute at least some of the criticism, Reuters reports. Russell said Friday that he intentionally oversimplified the film, saying that it was meant to be "just the gateway into the conversation. ... And we want you to keep investigating, we want you to read the history."
Russell has also said that those who criticize his nonprofit for not spending more money to the children have misunderstood the purpose of his organization, which he reiterated was not a charity.
Meanwhile, Luis Moreno Ocampo, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court who is featured in the film, re-emphasized his support in the wake of criticism from aid agencies, saying Monday that the video has "mobilized the world."