From “Star Wars Kid” was one of the first breakthrough Internet memes. But whatever became of the kid parodied by millions as he clumsily swung his imaginary lightsaber with reckless abandon? He recently spoke out publicly for the first time, sharing his thoughts on being arguably the first large-scale victim of cyberbullying.
“What I saw was mean. It was violent. People were telling me to commit suicide,” the now-25-year-old Ghyslain Raza said in an interview with MacLean’s.
Unlike most viral videos today, Raza did not post his own video online. The then 14-year-old high-school student had innocently made the video of himself on November 3, 2002, in anonymity as part of a school video club. Some of his classmates secretly posted the video online in April 2003, sparking a torrent of views.
By the end of 2006, an independent estimate said the video had been clicked more than 900 million times. The video has more than 27 million views on YouTube alone and more than 100,000 viewer comments.
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