Bystander Revolution

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Bystander Revolution Website Poster Image
Anti-bullying site is noble, limited by YouTube reliance.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about bullying: what it is, how people who experience it feel, how to prevent it, and how to avoid it. Celebrities and teens from around the world offer first-person examples and suggestions. Videos cover a variety of topics, including being afraid to ask for help, being a bully, being the new kid, body image, homophobia, and more. The clips feature positive commentary and should serve as a strong source of support for kids who are being bullied; additional written tips and classroom discussion materials are also offered. Bystander Revolution could possibly get kids to move from being bystanders to making a positive change in ending bullying.

Positive Messages

Videos designed to boost kids' self-esteem, combat bullying.




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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bystander Revolution is a video site designed to combat bullying on a range of topics. Its videos are housed on the site, so parents don't have to worry that kids will easily end up on YouTube and be able to search for other, more mature content. Kids can't post comments on any videos, so while users might be frustrated about not getting a chance to give their thoughts about what they've seen, it does help prevent potential bullying and negative comments being attached to the site.

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What's it about?

Launched in April 2014 by author MacKenzie Bezos, wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, BYSTANDER REVOLUTION has content that includes more than 100 one- to two-minute videos. Musicians such as Jason Mraz and celebrities such as actor Ansel Elgort share personal experiences and suggestions on preventing bullying. Kids can search by topic, such as body image or cyberbullying. They can also access written tips from parents, teens, and organizations such as GLAAD, check out weekly action ideas, and read discussion questions that tie into a video series.

Is it any good?

Bystander Revolution has a noble objective: offer kids who are being bullied -- or who are witnessing kids being bullied -- emotional support and advice on turning the situation around. The site offers a pretty safe experience; kids can't interact or post comments about the clips from celebrities and teens.

In 2016, Bystander Revolution also incorporated more diverse content instead of only video -- including written tips on preventing and dealing with bullying -- which helps convey the site's message and makes the overall experience more engaging. Bystander Revolution deserves some kudos for its work; kids who spend even a little time on the site are likely to walk away feeing empowered and supported -- which is a really good thing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people at school and in the media can influence your child's self-image. Why is it so hard to fight negative imagery when it's constantly being presented to you?

  • Talk about how your child defines bullying. How can your child handle similar situations if they arise at school or other locations?

  • Talk about language that could be construed as mean or hurtful. Have you ever heard that kind of talk at school?

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