Last week, 19-year-old Benjamin “Drews” Fokken’s life changed almost overnight when he posted a video to his Facebook timeline… an act that would normally be seen as a regular occurrence for the German teenager. Instead of doing a rendition of a popular song, Fokken took on the issue of bullying, raking in millions of views in a matter of days.
Why this particular video went so viral isn’t really known. Fokken himself was taken aback by the massive outpouring of support and media attention. His other videos have been popular, but would only see view counts reach into the hundreds, which is nowhere close to the over four million views in a week.
Fokken’s anti-bullying message received extensive media coverage in Germany, which also allowed the teenager to talk about his motive behind the video.
Having been a victim of bullying himself, he wanted to speak out in defense of other victims of bullying while also reaching out to those who do the bullying, asking how they would feel knowing they might have led someone to suicide.
While the video is simple in terms of production, with only a series of handwritten messages set to music, its meaning is anything but. We’ve embedded Fokken’s original video below along with an English-language translation courtesy of DW.
People! Nobody is worth less than anyone else just because he or she:
Has a handicap / May not have much money / May not be very smart / May not have the best figure / Is gay, lesbian or bisexual / Has a different skin color / Has a different religion / Comes from a different country
Victims of bullying often feel lonesome and left alone. They hurt their bodies because they think they are different. They have thoughts about suicide!
How would – you – feel about that?
Only TOGETHER can we CHANGE things! =)