Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey took to--what else?!--a new video release Monday to defend the advocacy group's mega-viral "Kony 2012" film from some of the criticism it received. The slickly produced 30-minute documentary on guerrilla leader Joseph Kony chronicles the atrocities of his Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa over the past two decades and drew over 70 million viewers. But, it also sparked criticism about everything from the group's finances to whether it inspired low-effort "slactivism" or (arm-chair activism) among the group's mostly college-age millennial fan-base, to whether Invisible Children promotes a modern-day version of colonial thinking about the need for white foreigners to solve Africa's problems.
In the latest video offering, Invisible Children CEO Keesey addresses each of the major concerns, while the video itself avoids--for better or for worse--any of the qualities that made "Kony 2012" such a social networking phenomenon in the first place. Slick it is not. Straightforward, and even a little tedious, it is.
"So my responsibility is to translate all the resources given to us to allocate them to give the maximum impact they can," Keesey says in a segment on the new video referring to the group's finances. "Since the beginning, we put our audited finances and annual report straight on the website."
"These guys don't deserve to be demonized for building a better mousetrap," Cameron Hudson, a former Africa director in the Bush White House, told Yahoo News by email Monday, speaking about Invisible Children.
The new video comes after Invisible Children filmmaker Jason Russell defended the film and "Stop Kony" campaign in an interview with the NBC Today Show last Friday.
"We can all agree we can stop him this year,'' Russell told the Today Show's Ann Curry, referring to Kony. "We're not going to wait.''
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