How ‘Kony 2012’ nabbed 50 million views in four days

Have you seen the wildly popular, somewhat controversial ‘Kony 2012’ video? Its approach to viral success was fairly simple.

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The 30-minute “Kony 2012” short film released this week has racked up more than 55 million views in just five days. The video, from San Diego-based nonprofit Invisible Children, tells the story of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, who is accused of kidnapping 30,000 children and turning them into sex slaves and child soldiers.

The film won praise from myriad celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, and President Obama, and that attention helped propel it into the spotlight.

Here’s what Invisible Children did: It posted the video on Monday and asked viewers to send messages to 20 celebrities. The nonprofit’s website includes pictures of the celebrities, with links for messaging them.

As CBS’s “This Morning” said, “It worked.” This week, the hashtag #stopkony emerged as a trending topic on Twitter, while “Uganda” and “Invisible Children Kony 2012” became two of the most searched items on Google. And there’s the matter of those 55 million views.

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