11-Year-Old Reads Cruel YouTube Comments to Confront His Bullies

Logan Fairbanks, 11, stood up to Internet bullies by reading their words.

July 10, 2015, 11:26 AM
PHOTO: Logan Fairbanks is seen in a grab made from a video posted to YouTube on July 7, 2015 with the title "11 year old reads comments about him and it's heart breaking."
Logan Fairbanks is seen in a grab made from a video posted to YouTube on July 7, 2015 with the title "11 year old reads comments about him and it's heart breaking."
Josh Fairbanks/YouTube

— -- For the past year, Josh Fairbanks, 30, and his son Logan have enjoyed playing pranks on one another at their family home in Hartford, Michigan, then posting their hijinks online in spirited YouTube videos.

But when the younger Fairbanks noticed a stream of cruel comments directed at him by Internet trolls, he asked his father to film him with a much more serious intention: confronting his bullies. In a two-minute video, 11-year-old Logan bravely and calmly reads the words of his hectors -- calling him "fat," "stupid" and saying "I hope he dies" -- while looking directly into the lens.

Then he sent a message of his own back out to the world: "I hope that people don't bully other people online anymore, and that this helps."

"I was very hesitant [to allow Logan to make the video]," Josh Fairbanks told ABC News. "I knew he had seen some comments, but I also knew that he hadn't seen anywhere near the worst of them."

Because they both enjoyed making the videos, and sharing "the special bond we have," the father's first inclination was to ignore the bullies.

"I knew the depths of how horrible people could get online, especially behind a screen where no one would know who they were," Josh Fairbanks said. "I was able to shield [Logan] for a while but after more of our videos became popular, he watched them on his own and saw some not-so-nice comments."

After a few months of Logan’s pushing, Fairbanks became convinced that his son was mature enough to handle filming a response.

“If there was a chance for him to make a difference in the world then why not try, no matter how rough the road," he said.

Since being published, the video has been viewed more than 350,000 times. Ugly words continue to populate some of the more than 3,000 comments made so far. But many reactions are supportive and commend the young boy for his courage.

"They are literally jealous of you, dude," wrote one viewer. "The more hate you get, the more jealous those people are. They are so ashamed of themselves and sad that the only way they can express themselves is through bitter stuff."

For his part, Logan is buoyed by the personal notes he has received, as well.

"I wanted to show that I could be strong against whatever people said against me and to inspire others who deal with the same thing," Logan told ABC News. "People from Sweden, England, Israel and all over have emailed us. It means a lot to me to see that my video is affecting people for good from around the world."

To others who may be facing similar cyberbullies, Logan also had this to say:

"Don't let hurtful words affect you," he said. "Because there are always going to be mean people in the world and you can take the power back from them."

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events