See viral 'KONY 2012' documentary that teens, celebrities are talking about (VIDEO)
A 30-minute video by the advocacy group Invisible Children on a jungle militia group's atrocities in Africa has gone viral and racking up millions of views by the hour.
The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, Joseph Kony, is being hunted by 100 U.S. Special Forces advisers and local troops in four Central African countries. The militia abducts children, forcing them to serve as soldiers or sex slaves, and even to kill their parents or each other to survive. The LRA now operates in Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
The video's premise is that people here in America — and the world beyond — have the power to stop Kony, if only they are willing to spread the word through the power of social media. Called Kony 2012, the goal is to see Kony captured by the end of this year.
Celebrities — and teens — have quickly joined the cause.
"Even if its 10 minutes ... Trust me, you NEED to know about this!" tweeted Rhianna.
"This is not a joke. This is serious. TOGETHER we can (hash)MakeAChange and (hash)STOPKRONY -- help another kid in need!" Justin Bieber tweeted.
"Have supported with $'s and voice and will not stop," tweeted Oprah.
Data collected by YouTube show the video is most popular with boys and girls ages 13 to 17, as well as young men ages 18 to 24.
Invisible Children's critics say the San Diego-based group oversimplifies a complex issue. In a rebuttal posted on its website, the group acknowledges the video overlooks many nuances but says it sought to explain the conflict "in an easily understandable format." It called the film a "first entry point."