Just last week, 11-year-old Stepan was a regular schoolboy with a keen interest in dinosaurs and Legos. The boy even created his own page on the Russian social media platform Vkontakte, where he talked about, that's right, different kinds of dinosaurs.
Stepan's mother, Svetlana Stroganova, decided to take the issue online by publishing a post on her own Facebook account.
"Today his [Stepan's] classmates ridiculed him for his page on Vkontakte… ‘You're loser, nobody even gives you likes.' Stepa was very upset, almost cried. So please do me a favor — those of you who have accounts on Vkontakte, could you please go to [Stepan's] page and give him some likes," Stepa's mother wrote on Facebook.
Right after that thousands of Internet users began "liking" and sharing Stepan's page about dinosaurs. The boy immediately became a new Internet star with famous rapper Basta, the head of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, and even NASA astronaut Dan Burbank liking his page and even sending him personal thumbs-up messages.
"Hi, Stepa! My name is Dan Burbank. I'm an astronaut. I wanted to say good luck to you!," Burbank said in a video message addressed to Stepan, according to the official website of the US Embassy in Russia.
Both Stepan and his mother were shocked this kind of reaction. On Wednesday, Stepan published a post on Vkontakte, thanking everyone for their support and promising to keep up his page about dinosaurs.