If you have been paying any attention at all to social media related news, you will have heard of “Kony 2012?. Even better, you may have even taken the 27 minutes out of the your day to watch the poignant documentary about Ugandan rebel leader and war criminal Joseph Kony.
The extremely popular and now even controversial video, has made history by becoming the most viral video in history with more than 100 million views in just six days, a research firm reports.
“Kony 2012?, written and directed by American Jason Russell is a campaign by Invisible Children that aims to expose the horrendous crimes perpetrated by Kony against young children and their parents in Uganda. The ultimate goal is to create enough of a public outcry and demand for his capture that he will be located and arrested before the end of 2012.
In a blog post, Visible Measures found that the video received more views than previous record breaking videos, including Susan Boyle’s performance on Britains Got Talent in 2009 with 70 million hits in six days and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance that hit 100 million in 18 days.
Visible Measures received its figures by tracking not just the original Vimeo version of Kony, but also responses to the video. By 8 March, three days after Kony went live, there were 200 such responses, which ran six minutes on average. The video has also generated more than 500,000 comments.
As mentioned above, Invisible Children and the documentary it created has received a fair amount of criticism from those questioning the organization’s practices, where the money raised is being spent and the accuracy of the information presented about the scale of the crimes and Kony’s presence in Uganda.
Technology is and has been used as significant tool for the cause with the aim of placing non combative troops in Uganda who can set up the technology required to track and locate Kony, the development of a crisis tracker where users can see what’s happening in the war zone in real time and the building of an early warning radio network that warns villages and protects them from rebel attacks.
Whether you choose to support the cause or simply take no notice, Russell and his team have taken full advantage of the power that social media and technology has today in spreading information, sharing ideas and creating awareness on a global scale at a rate that is breaking records and making history.