Invisible Children Responds to Kony 2012 Criticism

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The notorious crimes of African warlord Joseph Kony have been highlighted across the globe, thanks to the California-based group Invisible Children.

But some critics have been skeptical of Invisible Children, the non-profit group who produced a viral video exposing Joseph Kony's crimes and the Lord's Resistance Army.

Invisible Children's 30-minute "Kony 2012" documentary has been viewed by more than 75 million people since it was posted on YouTube March 5.

The group said it wants to make Kony famous, and eventually bring justice to the countless children and families he has destroyed.

Yet Monday, Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey found himself answering questions that have surfaced about his group's intentions and what it does with its finances.

"I understand why a lot of people are wondering is this just some kind of slick, fly-by-night, 'slacktivist' thing, when actually, it's not at all," Keesey said in a brief video posted online responding to his critics.

"It's connected to a really deep, thoughtful, very intentional and strategic campaign," he said.

"Any claims that we don't have financial transparency, or that we are not audited every year by an independent firm -- that we don't have financial integrity -- just aren't true," he later added.

Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey responds to criticsm of 'Kony 2012' and concerns about how the non-profit spends its money.

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a rebel group in central Africa known for kidnapping young kids, turning the boys into soldiers and the girls into sex slaves.

"Kony 2012" tells the story of a former child soldier named Jacob. Once captured and tormented by Kony, he watched his brother be killed by the rebels.

"My brother tried to escape," Jacob says in the documentary. "Then they killed him using a panga."

Since the video went viral, hundreds of thousands around the world have helped spread the word about Kony.

But with that success came more scrutiny and some skepticism.

Many have criticized Invisible Children, questioning whether the effort is strong enough to make a difference -- and how the group began.

Keesey said it's been "difficult" seeing some of the negative accusations toward his group.

In addition to the eight-and-a-half-minute video detailing its purpose, Invisible Children has a section on its website detailing the group's goals, programs, the finances needed to stop Kony and the LRA, and an explanation of where the funds go.

"We've done our utmost to be as inclusive, transparent, and factual as possible," the website states. "Let's focus on what matters, and what we DO agree on: Joseph Kony needs to be stopped."

Keesey ended the video encouraging people to ask Invisible Children any other questions on Twitter, using the hashtag #AskICAnything.

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