How Oprah helped the 'Stop Kony' documentary go viral

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Lots of people are wondering how a 30-minute documentary by an unknown filmmaker, about a guerilla leader in an African conflict many Americans haven’t even heard of, went viral. The answer, it turns out, is Oprah, with a little help from Twitter.

From MSNBC’s Technolog:

At around noon PT Monday, “Kony 2012” was posted on YouTube, where it got about 66,000 views that day, according to Invisible Children. The team did plenty of outreach to its followers, calling on them to show support by sharing the video on social media and posting a banner on their own Facebook and Tumblr pages.

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On Tuesday, the word started spreading farther and faster. A young woman from Australia with 29 Twitter “followers” tweeted to Oprah about the film. The mega-star, with 9.6 million followers of her own, responded to the tweet supportively, then continued to tweet about it. Other celebrities, the Biebers and Kardashians, each with their own private army of devotees, joined in. By the end of that day, “Kony 2012” had 9.6 million YouTube views.

“You guys are making Kony famous and you’re breaking the Internet,” Invisible Children said Tuesday on its Facebook page, which ballooned from 444,461 subscribers on Monday to more than 2.1 million as of Thursday. On Twitter, the group’s followers jumped as well, going from 54,375 followers before the release of “Kony 2012” to more than 333,000 on Thursday.

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