USD Panel Discusses 'Kony 2012' Movement

Attendees Weigh In On Filmmaker Jason Russell's Recent Public Incident

Attendees of a forum on the viral video sensation "Kony 2012" offered their thoughts on the filmmaker's recent public meltdown.

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The forum, held Tuesday at the University of San Diego, was planned before Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell's naked rant in Pacific Beach.

Russell was detained last week after witnesses said he began masturbating on the street and making his way into traffic. Video of the incident has gone viral -- just as Russell's "Kony 2012" campaign video has reached more than 80 million views online.

Russell's "Kony 2012" video was aimed at exposing corruption in Uganda in hopes of stopping warlord Joseph Kony.

Invisible Children volunteer Nathan Phillips attended the panel at USD, and he said, "It was a wonderful experience for me and I really what their vision is about. I was in Uganda in high school, and I got to meet a lot of kids who were affected by the war and then Invisible Children did a presentation at my school during my senior year, and I felt that it was something that was near and dear to my heart."

While Russell's wife claimed dehydration may have been behind his behavior, Phillips blamed stress.

"It's a stress thing. He hadn't slept for nine days. You know, when you have that kind of thing going on, I think you're under a lot of pressure. I still think it does not take away from the cause that Invisible Children is for," said Phillips, who biked from Washington to San Diego to raise $3,000 for Invisible Children.

Critics of "Kony 2012" have said the video is oversimplified and not entirely accurate. Tuesday's panel focused on the scrutiny that has followed the release of the video.

One panelist said, "One of the campaign's greatest strengths is one of its greatest weaknesses."

Russell is said to be getting many letters of support from the followers he has developed.

Charity Navigator, a group that monitors charities, gives Invisible Children three of four stars overall and two out of four stars for accountability and transparency.

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