KONY 2012- The Top Viral Video Of 2012

Posted: April 19, 2013 in Videos-Funny, Music, Misc
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


With more than 100 million views in six days, Kony 2012, a 30-minute documentary about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, became not only the Top Viral Video Of 2012, but also the most viral video in history according to statistics conducted by Visible Measures.


Kony 2012 was a short film created by an organization called Invisible Children, Inc. The film’s purpose was to promote the charity “Stop Kony”, while raising awareness concerning the International Criminal Court fugitive Joseph Kony to have him arrested by the end of 2012, when the campaign expired.

Between it’s release on March 5, 2012 and October 17, 2012, the film had over 94 million views on video-sharing website YouTube, and over 16.6 million views on Vimeo making it the top viral video of 2012 . The drastic amount of traffic actually caused the “Kony 2012” website to crash for a short period. A poll went so far as claiming that more than half of young American adults heard about Kony 2012 in one way or another.

Despite the rapid rise of the video it brought a shower of criticism to the supporting organization, Invisible Children. Many naysayers targeted the practices of Invisible Children at the organizational level, versus the true focus of the video to expose whether or not Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, was a war criminal.



  1. Thanks for sharing…love reading about the YouTube/ Viral video phenomenon and trying to predict what video will go viral next!! As soon as more than 5 of of my FB friends share the same video you know it’s going to go viral!!

    I don’t think that chart is correct though….I mean what about Gangnam Style?!! That was quickest to hit 1 BILLION views, and while it was slow enough to take off, it definitely wasn’t more than a month or two to reach 1 million! 🙂

    • Dugutigui says:

      Invisible Children, a movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda, created the film Kony 2012. They hoped it would accelerate the arrest of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, who has been kidnapping and abducting Uganda’s youth for nearly three decades.

      With more than 100 million views in six days, Kony 2012 became the most viral video in history.

      The movement, however, ended quite strangely. The video’s creator, Jason Russell, was detained in the Pacific Beach neighborhood, with charges of public drunkenness and lewd behavior…

    • Rahburt says:

      Good! 🙂 Nice to have you stop by. Ha, yeah I know what you mean. The FB feed is usually a good or bad place to see them over and over.

      Yeah I know what you mean. Gagnam style was huge too. It was second on this list here: http://mashable.com/2012/11/13/viral-videos-2012/

  2. GrowlTigger says:

    Interesting post, which raised my eyebrow a little! (just the one, you know, like Spock in Star Trek) 😉 Whilst acknowledging the possibility that this was a well intentioned video and campaign, I am left puzzled by the alleged huge ‘success’ of the video. Kony is still free and continues to wage a particularly dirty war and lead his brainwashed cult in pursuit of an impossible cause.

    I also am troubled by the singling out of Kony for kidnapping and using children is his ‘army’. Saddam Hussein did this in Iraq in the 1980s, forcing 12-17 year old boys into boot camps to train as combatants. They were used in the Iran/Iraq war, during which the US government backed Iraq! There are many other countries and armies with child soldiers right now, but few receive any attention at all. I am all in favour of good effective campaigns and seeing real change in the world, but I remain sceptical that viral videos are really that effective at changing the world.

    Unless a video really manages to so stir people that they demand and push for change in massive numbers and in an overwhelming way, change is unlikely to result, just popular awareness. Unfortunately, popular awareness without change can result in an increased toleration for unacceptable practices, like kidnapped child soldiers. If a really powerful video demanding change was posted I have a feeling that vested interests would ensure deletion of the YouTube or Vimeo account faster than viral status could be achieved – but maybe I am too cynical? 🙂

    • Rahburt says:

      Ha, nice visual description. And yes I concur with your puzzlement. As you can see towards the end of my post the attention actually was directed in a much less important direction, the business dealings of the supporting organization. The seems like quite the back fire. And I agree, with it seeming to just be just popular awareness versus an actual tangible drastic change made. I believe the success of a video of this nature should be measured by the action taken and it’s results. Not the number of times it was viewed.

      No, I don’t think it’s too cynical at all. I think we as people should step back and look at things from a more mindful observant perspective like you have done here. It’s helped me look at it in a new light also. Sometimes causes can become a fad. Which can be good and bad.

      • GrowlTigger says:

        Thank you for an understanding response to my comment. I had not intended to sound critical of your post, just speaking my mind, leading on from the way you had mentioned the backlash that had perhaps unfairly targeted Invisible Children. I didn’t comment on that aspect as I don’t really know any trustworthy information on which to base an opinion – perhaps I should have made that clearer, as I can see that my comment may seem unduly critical of the whole Kony campaign because of that.

        I respect your thoughtful and interesting blog and reviewing my comment I may not have made that clear enough either. It is good that you have a ‘take a step back and form a better view’ approach to life – it is growing in popularity, but many people are still quick to jump on passing bandwagons, not always thinking who is driving the wagon or where it is going! 🙂

      • Rahburt says:

        No worries. I appreciated it and like when people share their perspective. You weren’t rude or critical all. Yeah, I’d like to carry a sign around reminding people to think and not just accept. You are the man Paul.

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