In one of the most ambitious viral marketing campaigns in internet history, activists are hoping the web can take down one of the world’s most wanted war criminals, Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
The internet exploded in response to a video about Kony, the fanatical Ugandan man who heads the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a violent rebel group that says it wants to rule by the Ten Commandments but is known for committing atrocities against civilians in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for five leading members of the LRA, including Kony, in October of 2005 on 33 charges including murder, rape, and the enlistment of child soldiers. Since 1987, the ICC estimates that the LRA has kidnapped more than 30,000 children and forced them into combat.
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In less than 48 hours after the 30-minute documentary was posted to various sites across the web, the "Kony 2012" campaign was trending worldwide on Twitter, covering Facebook newsfeeds and on the front page of Reddit. The campaign, produced by the Invisible Children movement, seeks to make Joseph Kony one of the most infamous people in the world.
“If the world knows who Joseph Kony is, it will unite to stop him. It starts here,” reads the campaigns website.