44.7 million views . . . but is this Invisible Kids video really necessary?
A video about fugitive rebel leader Joseph Kony's misdeeds in Africa has become an online phenomenon, with more than 44.7 million views in just three days .
On Twitter too it is breaking records: users mentioned Kony 950,000 times on Thursday, according to social- media analytics firm PeopleBrowsr, with tweets by public figures including Rihanna, Alec Baldwin, Sean Combs, Ryan Seacrest, Bill Gates and Sen. Patrick Leahy.
But some are questioning the need for it all.
Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, sexual slavery and using children as combatants.
However, a spokesman for Uganda's army, Felix Kulayigye, told the Wall Street Journal that Kony was already a spent force. "The world is just realising the evil in this man, but these are the things we have pointed out countless times in the past," he said. "We have decimated his capabilities now."
Scott Gilmore, chief executive of Peace Dividend Trust, focused on making humanitarian operations more efficient, also doubted the need for the video.
"While this is a very impressive example of viral marketing, it's raising awareness for a cause that doesn't need awareness.Those 30,000 kids who were kidnapped, this isn't going to un-kidnap them."
Invisible Children, founded by three filmmakers, turned to Twitter and Facebook to encourage its followers to share the short film, donate to its campaign and " help bring Kony to justice in 2012."
Jesse Derris, a spokesman for Invisible Children said of Gimore's complaint, "That's a naive and sad world view. "The idea that you should do nothing unless you can do everything is exactly what we're trying to avoid."
The Invisible Children Protection Plan is a five-step strategy that includes building an early-warning radio network "to facilitate twice daily security broadcast and early-warning communications," and deploying search-and-rescue teams.