News outlets were flooded last week when a video entitled “KONY 2012” made rounds on nearly every social media platform in the space of 48 hours. Since its first appearance, it has garnered over 20 million hits. The video is sponsored by Invisible Children, a charitable organization fighting the abduction and militarization of Ugandan children. But the viral sensation, a behind-the-scenes documentary depicting the Ugandan struggles, has also stirred up controversy about Invisible Children’s questionable fiscal practices.
“We jam packed that video with “Lifetime”-caliber heart-string-tuggers and some credible indie jams in the hopes that it’d hit trending on Twitter, but we never expected such a ridiculous number of people throwing money at us,” said Ben Keesey, Invisible Children CEO.
“We had every intention of being truthful and transparent with our funds, but it turns most of them just don’t look ‘legitimate’ on paper.”
Following the debut of the KONY 2012 video, fiscal responsibilities were delegated to Jason Russell, co-founder and filmmaker behind the phenomenon. Russell reported that as of Sunday the company would have released a statement detailing the flow of funds since the inception of the video, but as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, no such report has been filed.
“Initially we started only reimbursing ourselves for the costs of production. Then the more money that kept rolling in the more places we had to find to put it.” added Russell
“Plus, do you have any idea how long it takes to upload a half-hour video to YouTube? It’s excruciating. I think I deserve a little cut for that.”
Russell and other principle members of Invisible Children remain resilient in defending the organization’s practices and continue to run press under KONY 2012, despite numerous cynics.
“We intend on furthering IC’s interests no matter how many people try to poke holes in our mission. It’s just money, after all. People need to not get so caught up with where their donations go and who it goes to. Lighten up, people.”