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'KONY 2012,' film about Uganda warlord, goes viral

March 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
'KONY 2012,' a film which seeks to expose an African warlord's abuse of children, is picking up steam across social networks.

The 29-minute documentary starts with the phrase, "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." The idea behind the film is to make Joseph Kony famous and take him out of power in Uganda.

The film's creator, Jason Russell, traveled to the African nation a decade ago and met a boy named Jacob, one of more than 30,000 children allegedly victimized by Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army.

Kony tops the International Criminal Court's most wanted list because of the perversity of his crimes. Russell claims Kony and his army kidnaps boys to turn them into child soldiers who are forced to kill their own parents, and girls to turn them into sex slaves.

For the last 10 years, Russell has traveled the U.S. showing the film to young people and built up an audience online. He even helped convince President Barack Obama to send a small force of military trainers to the region.

However, Kony is still around. Russell is worried public attention will wane and Congress will pull out the trainers, so his new strategy is to "Make Kony famous in 2012."

Uganda, Invisible Children and (hash)stopkony were among the top 10 trending terms on Twitter among both the worldwide and U.S. audience on Wednesday night, ranking higher than New iPad or Peyton Manning. Twitter's top trends more commonly include celebrities than fugitive militants.

While Russell wants average citizens to plaster Kony's name everywhere they can, he's also focusing on getting the most powerful celebrities and politicians to support his cause.

'KONY 2012' on YouTube.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.