Online bullying leaves real scars, argues a compelling short video from one young victim.
Luke Culhane, a 13-year-old from Ireland, produced, edited and stars in the two-and-a-half minute film. In it, he receives verbal insults on platforms like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Snapchat. After each one, he is afflicted with a new physical injury—a bloody nose, black eye and a broken arm—that appears as if by some kind of sick magic.
It's a simple, effective way to illustrate the point, which he also spells out with written messages (and creative approaches to typography). A monologue at the end of the homemade PSA drives the message home, with Culhane quoting stats on the pervasiveness of the problem and offering suggestions for how to cope.
Created to spur discussion around Safer Internet Day (Feb. 9), the ad is set to a Whitney Woerz cover of "Renegades" by X Ambassadors.
It's an admirable way to turn a destructive personal experience into a positive and productive social one. And those who like Culhane's story should also check out the recent efforts by a girl who used Facebook to beat her bullies back, too; online campaigning, powered by personal stories, has proven a popular approach to cultivating empowerment.