Browsing through the Josh Fairbanks YouTube channel, one will find an assortment of amusing videos mostly consisting of Josh performing harmless pranks on his eleven-year-old son Logan. Each of the videos shows how fun loving and silly the father-son team are. However one video in particular stands out as very different from the rest. On July 7th, Josh and Logan posted a much more serious video featuring Logan speaking directly to YouTube viewers about the mean-spirited and cruel comments about him that cyber-bullies had left on previous video uploads.
One by one he reads off the awful comments making fun of his appearance, intelligence, and sexuality, with some even wishing him dead. The reason he made this video? “To encourage other people to not bully people online” and “to encourage other people that have been bullied to not let words hurt them.” It’s an incredibly noble and brave cause for an eleven-year-old. By reading the mean comments about himself to the viewer we can hear just how cutting and heartless the comments are. It also shows the viewer that these comments are not just text on a screen but real words that carry real emotional weight and consequences, just like the words we use when speaking with someone face to face. His message has rightfully resonated with much of the web as his video received viral buzz in the week after it was posted. The video has since been viewed over one million times.
The bravery that Logan exhibited in the video is the type of behavior that the Tyler Clementi Foundation loves to encourage. By directly addressing the issue and speaking to viewers Logan was acting as a true Upstander. He took the time to show that malicious words shouldn’t be ignored and took a clear and solid stance against them. By offering compassion to anyone else that has been the target of mean words he shows that the video isn’t just about him, but about the greater problem of cyber-bullying in general.
We want to applaud Logan Fairbanks for his bravery and setting a great example for his peers, that cyber-bullying is cruel and shouldn’t be tolerated. You can be an Upstander as well, by promoting the #Day1 Campaign in your school or workplace. No one should ever have to feel alone or targeted.