It is a gripping and alarming movie. KONY 2012 is also spreading like wildfire in social media circles on Facebook and Twitter.
"I posted it over and over," SMU student, Amanda Koons, said.
The half-hour film, posted to YouTube this week tells the horrors of kidnapped children being forced to become killers and sex slaves in the African nation of Uganda by war lord, Joseph Kony. In just days, the tiny film has skyrocketed.
"It shows that times have changed and you don't have to go through network producers to get stories out there, you just have to go to YouTube and it can get picked up fast," SMU Junior, Kent Koons, said.
Kony has been operating in the war-torn country for decades, but for many this is the first exposure to the brutal war criminal.
SMU Human Right professor, Rick Halperin isn't surprised by the fast-paced activism of the internet movie.
"I think that the technology makes this accessible and that is a good thing, so that millions of people can stop saying, I didn't know that this man existed," Haperin, said.
But the 34-year old film maker behind the project, Jason Russell is drawing fire for hype in the movie. Koney has been forced from Uganda and his fighting force has been shaved down from thousands to hundreds. Those are facts that many people may not have known before sharing the viral story.
"People sort of hit the like button on Facebook or retweeted before they knew the full story," SMU Journalism professor, Jake Batsell, said.
"Batsell, who has studied in Africa says the Invisible Children of Uganda are a worthy cause, but people should pause before so quickly hitting the send button.
"I think it's another instance where people should google before tweeting and be sure to arm yourself with knowledge before blindly sharing a story."
Eyebrows are also being raised about the film maker's fundraising efforts surrounding the movie. Reports indicate he has taken in hefty donations since the movie release and not all of the money is being used to help the children.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times