The Opposite of Bullying

I love this. I love it because it's a perfect example of the positive possibilities of social media, because it invites us to expect more from a technology the frequent indecency of which is considered an immutable feature. I love it because it is a moving story of friendship and teamspersonship. I love it because Daniel Cui.

Map with text onscreen: Hillsborough, California, United States.

Voiceover, a young white man, over montage of soccer play: The varsity soccer team had played ten or eleven games and lost every single one of them, by really embarrassing margins. Our goalkeeper, Daniel Cui—he was taking a lot of criticism, even though he was only a freshman playing varsity goalkeeper. We thought we were on the road to our first game that wouldn't be a loss. At the last minute, everything changed. Their star player, with a minute left, cracked this shot, and, unfortunately, Cui wasn't able to stop it; it was in the back of the net. And the next thing we knew, the ref was blowing the final whistle.

Voiceover, Daniel Cui, a young Asian American man, over an image of him failing to make a save in the net: It's horrible, I guess, uh, because, as the goalie, that little one mistake, you know, is a goal. And a goal in soccer is huge. [now onscreen] This guy said, "Oh, I'm gonna make a great photo album, with a bunch of pictures of you making great saves." The photos went up [images of photos of Facebook in which Cui's been tagged], and I was just shocked. [name of photo album: Worst Goalie Ever] It was just, you know, horrible. [images of Cui at home] After those photos were posted, there was a lot of tension. And I didn't want to go to school. I felt like taking time off. I didn't want that attention; I didn't want that negativity.

Young white man onscreen: We decided we had to do something. And eventually we found this great picture of Cui making a save [over image, and montage of turning image into FB profile pictures] and the three or four of us at about 7pm made it our profile picture. I came back about an hour later, and my newsfeed—it had exploded. It started with the soccer team making it our profile pictures, and the girls' soccer team made it their profile pictures, but then the whole school got involved. Over 100 people had either liked it, commented on it, tagged themselves in it, made it their profile pictures—and it was like my entire newsfeed was covered in Daniel Cui stories. [over video of Daniel Cui walking with a backpack] He came to school the next day like he was ten feet tall. [over soccer montage of Cui] Once he had that confidence, he was just going for it—throwing himself out there like a ragdoll. And the next season, one game they were just hammering shot after shot after shot, and Cui makes the best save of his life. He was parallel to the ground; he did a superman dive; and the ref blew the whistle and we won the game. And he punted the ball up into the sky, and I started running...

Cui, onscreen: I was like, "Wow—best moment of my life." Great change from the freshman kid to Daniel Cui the beast goalkeeper. [grins]

Young white man, over Cui being congratulated: The whole school had stood up, for someone who needed it. He was a normal kid, just like us. [over video of Cui doing homework] We all have our highs and our lows—and that's when we realized that we were all Daniel Cui.
Maude knows I've got my problems with Facebook, but that's a damn cool story.

[Via TDW.]

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