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'KONY 2012' sequel video addresses criticisms

Joseph Kony is shown in this undated file photo.

April 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A sequel to "KONY 2012" continues the hunt for warlord Joseph Kony and also addresses the Web video's criticisms.

California advocacy group Invisible Children released "KONY 2012: Part II" on YouTube on Thursday.

The sequel is noticeably missing the voice of the organization's co-founder, Jason Russell, who directed the first video. Russell was diagnosed with brief psychosis last month after he was seen pacing naked on a sidewalk in a San Diego neighborhood, screaming incoherently and banging his fists on the pavement.

His outburst happened shortly after "KONY 2012" thrust Invisible Children into the global limelight. Russell is said to be receiving treatment for exhaustion.

Part II addresses criticisms fired at the San Diego-based nonprofit since its launch to fame. Critics have said "KONY 2012" was too American-centric, the group spends too little money directly on the people it intends to help and that it oversimplified the 26-year-old conflict involving Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.

The original documentary garnered some 100 million hits on YouTube, but experts say the sequel isn't guaranteed to see the same kind of traffic.

"The fact is, the story has developed in so many odd ways with all the controversy, and the sequel can't really promise the bang of that first video - which is informing people of something they did not know before," said Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University professor and pop culture expert. "Now we're getting into the details, which is never that thrilling."

But then again, Thompson added, what goes viral never ceases to surprise.

The sequel features more interviews with Africans who talk about the complexity of the rebel conflict and how a multifaceted approach is required to stop the warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court for heinous attacks in multiple countries. Part II also shows young people from the United States and Africa talking about how they will not let up on the cause to bring down the warlord.

In the film, Invisible Children calls for viewers to get in touch with policymakers to push for Kony's arrest. The group also pushes people to volunteer in their neighborhoods and spread the message. The group urged people to be creative in how they get the word out - using everything from skywriting to mowing the campaign's triangles into sports fields.

The group promises to release the best photographs and clips of those actions - hinting that yet another video may be in the works.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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