Netizens come to aid of mocked Dancing Man: 5 other times the Internet beat the bullies

An anonymous person posted two pictures of an overweight man - one of him dancing, and another of him with his head bowed. Accompanying the two photos was the caption: "Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing."

The photos were posted on 4chan, an image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images anonymously, in February. On March 4, the photos were reposted on another photo-sharing site Imgur by a user who was outraged by the "despicable" behaviour of the person who posted it.

An Internet search for him started, and by March 6, the "dancing man," as he has been dubbed, was located and identified as Sean from London, England.

He has not only won the sympathy of the Internet, but he has earned himself a dance party surrounded by about 2,000 women in Los Angeles, California.

Singer Pharrell Williams and deejay Moby have said on Twitter that they will support the party, and a project has also been started online to fund his trip to America.

Here are five other incidents where the Internet fought back against the bullies.

1. Bus monitor in the US reduced to tears by bullying children

Dw bully karenklein 150308

The video of bus monitor Karen Klein, then 68, being taunted by four young boys on a bus was uploaded on YouTube on June 19, 2012.

It went viral, garnering more than 9 million views, as the Internet exploded in outrage. The boys were heard calling her "fat" and "poor," and making fun of her relentlessly. She was seen crying in the video at one point.

The Internet sought justice, and a project was started to raise funds for her on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

The aim was to raise enough money to sponsor her for a trip. The goal was to collect US$5,000 (S$6,891), but more than US$700,000 was raised.

The boys also apologised to her, and were suspended by their school. Ms Klein later set up anti-bullying foundation with US$100,000.

2. Woman named the "ugliest in the world"

Lizzie Velasquez was just a teenager when she found a YouTube video calling her the "world's ugliest woman".

The 25-year-old American was born with a rare condition which causes her to have hyper metabolism and keeps her from gaining weight. She is also blind in her right eye.

The video was viewed more than four million times. Some of the viewers even suggested that she commit suicide.

But instead of succumbing to the pain and hurt she felt, Ms Velasquez became a motivational speaker and an inspiration to many.

She did, however admit in media interviews that she cried her heart out when she found out about the video, and that her parents have been her strength from day one.

She now has a YouTube channel, where she has more than 300,000 subscribers, and each of her videos garners thousands, and sometimes even millions, of views.

3. Electronics shop Mobile Air cheats Vietnamese tourist

Dw bully pham 150308

People in Singapore also showed that bullies will not be let off easily.

On Nov 3 last year, Mr Pham Van Thoai, 28, had agreed to pay $950 for an iPhone 6 at Mobile Air, an electronics shop that at the time had been blacklisted by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) for its questionable sales tactics.

The sales person then asked him for an additional $1,500 for warranty expenses. The Vietnamese man was told by the sales assistant that if he failed to pay the additional amount, he would not only lose the $950, but also the new phone.

Mr Pham, who earns about $200 a month as a factory worker in his country, panicked and broke down in tears. He knelt and pleaded with Mr Jover Chew, owner of Mobile Air, to return his money. The police and the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) had to intervene as well.

A video of the incident went viral, and more than US$12,000 (S$16,537) was raised for him on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

He got a new iPhone 6, and some supplies as well. Mr Chew went missing, and his shop was eventually taken over by someone else.

4. Woman abused for exposing the stretch marks on her belly

Tanis Jex-Blake, mother to five children, wrote on her Facebook page on July 30, 2014, that she was abused by "two guys and one girl" at the beach.

She wrote that she wore a bikini for the first time after 13 years, and that the three ganged up and pretended to kick her while mocking her.


"I'm sorry that my stomach isn't flat and tight. I'm sorry that my belly is covered in stretch marks. I'm NOT sorry that my body has housed, grown, protected, birthed and nurtured FIVE fabulous, healthy, intelligent and wonderful human beings," the 33-year-old wrote.

Her post on her own Facebook page was liked by almost 15,000 people, and when the local radio station where she lives in Alberta, Canada, picked up her post and shared it, it was liked by more than 1 million people.

The Facebook world rallied to support her in her decision to embrace her body, and several people commented with words of support and encouragement.

5. A teenager taunted and verbally abused by a bully in school

Dw bully halsey 150308

On Oct 20, 2013, news site Metro reported that 100 Facebook users staged a rally outside a bullied American teenager's school to support him.

According to the report, Halsey Parkerson had been taunted and verbally abused by an unnamed bully at South Salem High School in Salem, Oregon.

His aunt, who had gone to meet him for lunch, heard another student telling him that he "didn't have any friends and no one cares".

The bully apparently taunted Halsey regularly. His aunt then took to Facebook to rally support from a local car club.

About 100 people in 50 cars turned up outside the school, with one person even making the journey from Vancouver, Canada, Metro reported.

The crowd demanded an apology from the bully, who gave just that.

Halsey was reportedly stunned by the incident. He thanked everyone on Facebook.

Sources: The Straits Times, Facebook, IBN News, YouTube, Metro

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.