Explainer: The Most Viral Web Video Ever, KONY 2012


Getting your 15 minutes of fame has never been easier, and it’s all thanks to social networks. All it takes, nowadays, to get noticed is a novel idea that translates well to Youtube: a goofy lip-synch (Moymoy Palaboy), epic ways to clog your arteries (the guys from Epic Meal Time), scarring your baby brother for life with a prank (this dude), or recording your bro’s volcanic temper tantrum (we’ll never forget that remote-control-to-the-ass part).

Upload it, post the link, and hope it’s shocking enough that the Internet will care to share. Doesn’t even have to be shocking sometimes. Sometimes, a cat chasing a laser pointer around should be all you need.

The most viral video in history though isn’t a bunch of cats doing a bunch of cute stuff. It’s something a lot more serious.

That video is called “KONY 2012.” Six days after its release (March 5, 2012, US time), the video hit a staggering 100 million views. The video’s trailblazing rise was tracked by Visible Measures, a company specializing on social video analytics and advertising. Those figures included numbers from the original Vimeo post, the Youtube version, and the translated and subtitled versions in Spanish, Italian, French and Chinese, among a few.

To put things in perspective, KONY 2012 got to 100 million faster than Lady Gaga’s "Bad Romance" video (18 days), Modern Warfare 2 trailer (77 days), and Justin Bieber’s "Baby" (56 days). The second fastest was the video featuring Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, which took 9 days to reach the vaunted figure.

Curious, yet? For those who weren’t part of the 100 million who shared and viewed it, here’s a quick primer.

What is KONY 2012?
KONY 2012 is a 27-minute film about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his resistance group, the Lord’s Resistance Army or the LRA. The documentary sheds light on the atrocities that the rebel group has committed, particularly the abductions and abuse of children, turning them into soldiers.

The film was created by Invisible Children Inc., a U.S.-based non-profit organization, with the primary purpose of stopping Kony. It was directed by Jason Russell, who’s also the founder of Invisible Children. His film has made Kony a household name in just a matter of days.

NEXT PAGE: How Jason Russell got involved with Kony

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  • royrax Mar 16 2012 @ 02:02am Reply Report Abuse
    All because of "oil", same scenario at US and IRAQ..
  • lefthook Mar 16 2012 @ 08:23am Reply Report Abuse
    If the US wants him badly they can get him, but usa is looking the other way pretending to be the protector of the woldin the middle east where they have plenty of interest, but ignoring africa as if it doesnt exist
  • chira Mar 16 2012 @ 08:58am Reply Report Abuse
    Another victim of US imperialism..rn
  • lokalbrown Mar 16 2012 @ 10:55am Reply Report Abuse
    to understand more about the brutality of kony, watch the movie machine gun preacher by gerard butler.
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