This is the VOA Special English Technology Reportfrom http://voaspecialenglish.com | http://facebook.com/voalearningenglish Have you ever heard of Joseph Kony? Chances are, you have at least heard about a video called "Kony 2012." An American nonprofit group posted it on YouTube in early March. The half-hour video quickly went viral with tens of millions of views. The group Invisible Children created "Kony 2012" to bring attention to Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa. In the video, Jason Russell from Invisible Children says: "For 26 years Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group the LRA, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers." The group hopes the video will lead to his capture before the end of the year. Many people praise "Kony 2012" for bringing attention to the issue. But others have criticized it and accused the creators of seeking financial gain. Critics say the way some of the information is presented may be misleading. Louisa Lombard is a graduate student in Duke University's Department of Cultural Anthropology. Ms. Lombard has studied conflict and policy in Africa. She says much of information presented in the video is old. She says viewers get the impression that this is a northern Ugandan problem. In fact, she says, the LRA has not been operating in northern Uganda for years. They moved first to South Sudan, then on to the Democratic Republic of Congo and into the Central African Republic. "Where they are now is debatable," Ms. Lombard says. The Ugandan government had a similar reaction to the video. In a statement, the government thanked the international community for its interest in Joseph Kony and the LRA. But it made clear that the group had not been active in Uganda since two thousand six. Uganda says the LRA is no longer a major threat and that the group now has less than three hundred members. Paul Levinson is a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University in New York. He says the important thing about the video is that it brings attention to Joseph Kony and the LRA. In his words, "If it's slightly off in a fact or two, that's a very very minor criticism." On March fifteenth, Jason Russell was hospitalized after San Diego police found him in his underwear, following reports that he had been naked and screaming in the streets. The head of Invisible Children said the filmmaker was "suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition." For VOA Special English, I'm Alex Villarreal. For more technology news for people learning English, go to voaspecialenglish.com. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 19Mar2012)
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