KONY 2012 video by Invisible Children raises awareness and concerns

10:37 PM, Mar 7, 2012   |    comments
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By Ann Rubin

St. Louis (KSDK) - It's a video that has surpassed 11 million views on YouTube. It's called KONY 2012 and focuses on a man the filmmakers call the world's worst criminal.

And while the charity that made it wants awareness and money, the Better Business Bureau advises caution.

The charity is called Invisible Children.

If you take a look at top twitter trends it's been there all day. But as the visibility of this video continues to grow, so do concerns about it.

With Facebook at people's fingertips and Twitter and Tumbler,  getting access to your eyes and money is easier than ever.

The latest viral video is KONY 2012.

Created by the charity Invisible Children, it focuses on Joseph Kony, a man the filmmakers call the world's worst war criminal.

Olivia McDougal, a Clayton High School Student says, "Lots of people started watching it and sharing it and started talking about it."

McDougal immediately started a Facebook event about it.

"Currently there's 1,872 people invited," she said.

The video itself runs a half an hour and discusses the Lords' Resistance Army in Africa and how it kidnaps children and turns them into soldiers.

And while it tries to raise awareness, it also tries to raise money.

"Social media has added a new layer toward charity donations and charity appeals," said Chris Thetford with the Better Business Bureau.

And according to the Better Business Bureau it can be problematic when people click before they think.

The charity, Invisible Children refused to be reviewed by the BBB, which they say can be a red flag.

However, the charity says they're simply waiting until they expand their board.

They say the limited board is also why they only get a two star rating for accountability and transparency on the Charity Navigator website.

Invisible Children has also been getting a lot of criticism online from people who say they aren't spending enough on their mission, so much criticism that they have set up a special website to address it.

"It can be easy to create a film that pulls at your heartstrings and wants you to help whatever the subject is but you still need to step back and do your homework and make sure that your money is going to be used wisely," said Thetford.

McDougal says she's been doing her own research. And she says she sees value in the awareness this video creates.

"There's definitely something to it that people didn't know about and that now that they know about it they're shocked and they want to share it," she said.

The charity is asking people all over the world to gather and put up posters about Kony on April 20th. Olivia McDougal and her friends at Clayton High School say they will.

This story is really lighting up our Facebook page. You can log on and tells us what you think.

Watch the video below.


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