The Internets Own Boy Reflection

As I watched the film “The Internet’s Own Boy,” it resonated through me on many different levels. It was inspiring to learn about someone who had achieved more before the age of 20 than most people achieve in their entire lifetime. It was motivating to see how someone who strongly believed in something decided to take action instead of idly standing by. It was frustrating to know that a man with good intentions was being severely punished for it. It was heartbreaking to listen to friends and family reflect on the tragic loss of such an incredible man.

As I watched the film, I kept thinking how baffling it was that I had never heard about Aaron Swartz before. This really bothered me because I felt like someone like Swartz should be more well known. Even aside from the fact that he was a wizard with technology and a huge political activist, he was someone who was a victim of a corrupt system who didn’t recognize his good heart and instead prosecuted him for it.

From watching the film, you could tell that Aaron was beloved. Among the people that were interviewed, each one told their side of the story and expressed a deep appreciation for Aaron and respect for all he was trying to accomplish. But with that being said, the film strategically used people that were close to him. So though the movie was powerful and evoked extreme feelings from its viewers, that was clearly the point because it was a film directed in a way to see and feel from Aaron’s perspective. This film moved me so much that I decided to do some of my own research after the film and read Aaron’s Manifesto. This really allowed me to see the bias in the film.

While I agree with all that Aaron was trying to accomplish and thought it was extremely unjust for him to be punished so harshly, there were other ways he could have gone about fighting for his cause within the legal limits. The film and his Manifesto made it seem like it was okay to not abide by the laws and the arguments seemed so convincing, it made me believe it was right even though I know it wasn’t. However, there’s no denying that Aaron Swartz was an incredible man with a good heart who fought for a good cause. This film did an excellent job of getting Aaron’s story out to the public and hopefully it will spark people to recognize the issues presented and take action themselves.

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