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Africa viral video raises Southern California nonprofit's profile

  • Invisible Children Movement Director Zach Barrows, right, speaks with video editing intern Shannon Lynch about her work on the KONY 2012 project Thursday March 8, 2012 in the groups office in San Diego. Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, a brutal Central Africa militia that has kidnapped thousands of children and forced them to become sex slaves, fight as child soldiers and kill family members during a 26-year campaign of terror. The KONY 2012 project is an effort to stop Kony. (AP Photo/John Mone)

"It's something we can all agree on regardless of your political background," Keesey said. "The core message is just to show that there are few times where problems are black and white. There's lots of complicated stuff in the world, but Joseph Kony and what he's doing is black and white."

Invisible Children's critics say the San Diego-based group oversimplifies things. In a rebuttal posted on its website to address that point and other criticisms, the group acknowledges the video overlooks many nuances but that it sought to explain the 26-year-old conflict "in an easily understandable format." It called the film a "first entry point".

Celebrities quickly joined the cause.

"Even if its 10 minutes ... Trust me, you NEED to know about this!" Rhianna tweeted.

"This is not a joke. This serious. TOGETHER we can (hash)MakeAChange and (hash)STOPKRONY -- help another kid in need!" Justin Bieber tweeted.

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