Kony 2012 (officially KONY 2012 or Kony2012) is a short film created by the non-governmental organization Invisible Children, Inc., authors of Invisible Children, and released on March 5, 2012.The film’s purpose was to promote the charity’s “Stop Kony” movement to make African cult and militia leader, indicted war criminal and the International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony globally known in order to have him arrested by the end of 2012,when the campaign expired.
The film spread virally.As of 17 October 2012, the film had over 94 million views on video-sharing website YouTube,and over 16.6 million views on Vimeo, with other views on a central “Kony 2012″ website operated by Invisible Children. The intense exposure of the video caused the “Kony 2012″ website to crash shortly after it began gaining widespread popularity.A poll suggested that more than half of young adult Americans heard about Kony 2012 in the days following the video’s release. It was included among the top international events of 2012 by PBS and ranked as the most viral video of all time by TIME.
The campaign resulted in a resolution by the United States Senate and contributed to the decision to send troops by the African Union. The film also called for an April 20 world wide canvassing campaign, called “Cover the Night”. However, after a heated controversy regarding the project’s legitimacy, validity and morality, and a resulting public mental breakdown of the film’s director Jason Russell, interest in the movement largely waned. On April 5, 2012, Invisible Children released a follow-up video, titled Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous, which failed to repeat the success of the original.