Website review by Erin Brereton, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2015

Bystander Revolution

Uneven content limits the impact of laudable anti-bullying site

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Not yet reviewed Write a review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
9–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Social Studies, Character & SEL, Communication & Collaboration

Take a look inside

6 images

Pros: Kids can get some helpful tips for dealing with and preventing bullying.

Cons: Content quality varies per video; some are more helpful than others.

Bottom Line: Though kids may not find concrete tips or actionable help in every video, they'll likely feel empowered after spending time on the site.

User-submitted videos and brief celebrity testimonials provide encouragement and advice; teachers could potentially show them in class to explain bullying -- and how to stop it.

Continue reading Show less

Bystander Revolution was launched in 2014 by MacKenzie Bezos, wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and it features more than 100 one- to two-minute videos. Celebrities like Ansel Elgort and MMA fighter TJ Dilashaw, along with teens who submitted their own clips, share personal experiences and offer tips on handling and preventing bullying.

Kids can find videos on the site by clicking on situation-related topic headings, such as "being afraid to help" or "feeling excluded." User-submitted videos have to be uploaded via YouTube, and site videos can be watched on YouTube or through the Bystander Revolution website.

Generally, the site's videos feature positive, uplifting advice. The content can vary; some videos -- both celebrity and user-submitted ones -- can feel a little long and unfocused. It's hard to criticize the subjects, who all clearly have an admirable intent. As a result, however, kids may not get hugely actionable suggestions from every single clip they watch. Teachers will likely want to screen videos before showing them in class or sharing them with students via email to make sure they select the most clear, helpful examples.

Regardless of how long, short, or focused the videos are, kids will definitely get emotional support from watching them -- whether they're frustrated about seeing classmates bullied or being picked on -- which is a huge plus. Bystander Revolution's only major flaw is its almost universal focus on video clips. Aside from a page listing several teen hotlines, educators and kids won't find many other materials. Adding written resources and interactive or other elements might help kids who come to the site looking for help -- and would make the overall experience even more engaging.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Celebrities and teens share personal stories in brief videos kids may be able to relate to. Kids can't post comments or react, which prevents potential cyberbullying and negativity but limits interaction and impact.

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Kids learn positive solutions to help them avoid being victimized or (even inadvertently) bullying someone else. They'll also find out how to help kids who are being bullied.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

The site offers a number of help hotline resources for teens, including a suicide hotline. Otherwise, though, it's tough to view the videos methodically or find which ones are consistently helpful.

Community Rating

No one has reviewed this tool yet. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Add your rating

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings