The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

2014 NR 1h 45m DVD

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

2014 NR 1h 45m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Aaron Swartz was a programming prodigy who helped shape the digital landscape we all use today. He helped develop the internet protocol RSS and was a co-founder of Reddit. Chronicling his pioneering efforts crusading for open access and free speech and the resulting legal nightmare and tragedy that ensued, The Internet's Own Boy is a dynamic and moving portrait of a brilliant tech millionaire who renounced the values of Silicon Valley startup culture and used technology to tirelessly fight for social justice, no matter what the cost.
Aaron Swartz, Tim Berners-Lee, Cindy Cohn
Brian Knappenberger
Widescreen 1.78:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz is a documentary that highlights the life and work of Internet influencer Aaron Swartz, while also questioning how much control we have over the Internet and the ways that greed affects the amount of information that people can access. The movie includes interviews with Aaron's family and colleagues, as well as clips from Aaron's own interviews with various news outlets. Internet concepts like RSS and Creative Commons (which Aaron helped develop), as well as legislation like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), PIPA (Protect IP Act), and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are explained as simply as possible. Expect some strong language ("f--k," "s--t," etc.) and a few images of clashes between protestors and the police, as well as Aaron's family talking about details of his arrest and time in solitary confinement.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


A few images of violence between cops and protestors. Aaron's family talks about Aaron's arrest and how he was beaten by the cops and put in solitary confinement.


A couple of uses of "s--t," "f--k," "hell," and "oh my God."

Social Behavior

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz takes the position that information for learning should be made public for all. Viewers are encouraged to find the issues that they're passionate about and fight for them.


Plenty of well-known companies are referenced in the documentary, including Reddit, JSTOR, Google, Wikipedia, Conde Nast, Apple, Flickr, and the New York Times, to name a few -- though it's not in a promotional way. The movie emphasizes the fact that corporate greed prevents information on the Internet from being accessible to everyone.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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