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Cyberbullying: Amanda Todd's Story

Updated on April 9, 2019

British Columbia Teen Fell Victim To Bullying

15-year-old teenager, Amanda Todd from British Columbia, was another victim of bullying and committed suicide in early October 2012. A month before her death she had posted a Youtube video that captured the attention of the American public as she told her story of her tormented years being bullied. The video was heartbreaking and a nightmare for anyone to imagine her or anyone else, enduring. The video actually recieved over 17 million views from viewers. The video reveals her bulling began in grade seven when she made the mistake of flashing a boy her breasts on webcam and he snapped a photo to later blackmail her with.

While disclosing this she is holding up notecards that are the voice of the traumatized teen and she never shows her face as she is going through the motions of telling the story. One that continues with a year gone by and the boy shows up again but this time blackmails the 8th grader. If she doesn't "put on a show" for him that was of a sexual nature, than he would show the picture of her breasts to her family and friends. Amanda refused to do what he asked and one day local police showed up at her home. The cops informed her and her parents that the photo had been explicit and showed to and sent to all of her friends on the social networking site, Facebook.

Amanda faced the fallout of the incident by losing her friends and having to change schools.
All the while falling into a depression and becoming anxious about everything. It wasn't long before she was drinking alcohol to numb the pain and using illegal drugs to deal with the pain. The bullying had such an effect on her she began to cut herself. In the video she shows you her arm where she tried to relieve the internal pain by creating external pain instead.

One of the key points that is depicted in her notecards is the fact that she can never get that photo back and can never control who sees that photo and how they use it. The internet is a world where everything lasts forever out there in cyberspace and you can't just reach out and take it back.

The bullying she experienced was in every part of her life. When she was at home or moved to escape the torment it followed her through cyberspace and cyberbullying. When it was at school she had to endure eating lunch alone, a situation every teen is terrified will end up happening to them. When she made another mistake, one that a lot of teens do, and hooked up with another girls boyfriend.

After the girlfriend found out they tracked her down at the school and proceeded to beat her up in the presecene of the boy that she had hooked up with that never tried to stop them. She wanted to die after that, lying in a ditch until her father found her. When she arrived home she drank bleach in hopes of killing herself. Her parents rushed her to the hospital where her stomach was pumped and saved her life. Upon returning home, the news of her suicide attempt and the fight were all over Facebook and the comments were horrifying.

'She deserved it. Did you wash the mud out of your hair? I hope she's dead,'" she wrote.


Despite the urge of her parents, Amanda didn't press charges on the girl that attacked her and instead wanted to move to get away from it all. So her family moved to another city and yet another school, but it still followed her through Facebook. Taunts from the old classmates kept telling her to find another ditch and to drink more bleach to finish the job this time.

On of the scarier aspects of Amanda's story, and one that every parent and teenager should be aware of and use this incident as an example of the dangers of the internet, is that this man on the other side of the computer had her personal information such as her address, and he knew the school that she attended at each location. When she moved to escape the torment that he had caused he had punished her for that in a way by posting his profile picture as the picture of her breasts.

The family wanted the public to know that before her death they did have a suport system in place and had been proactive in trying to help their daughter.

Amanda's Video

Amanda's video has her father speaking out against a letter to British Columbia teachers that warns them to not play the video Amanda made in order to prevent copycat suicides.

“Amanda put the message out there to help people. You can’t help people if you don’t use it,” Norm Todd told the Vancouver Sun. “This is a gift to them of a very powerful tool that they can use to encourage bullies to stop bullying.”


The arguement in favor of using this video to promote anti-bullying awareness is that Amanda's story may reach out to chidren that have kept their victimization from those close to them and end up impacting their decision to get help and possibly save another child's life. It can also be a reminder to students what impact their actions and words can have on another human being. The fact that Amanda suffered all because of a mistake made by using the webcam for something inappropriate is a reminder to think carefully before acting. The truth is you never know the person's intentions on the other side of the computer.

Aftermath Of Amanda's Suicide

It was pointed out that the death of Amanda really brought out the problems of cyberbullying and its hard for me to believe that when so many teens had done the same thing before her, they are just now realizing that its that big of a problem. If she had never posted the Youtube video, the level of media attention and viewers wouldn't have been this high and maybe the issue wouldn't be acknowledged still.

Maybe it also has to do with the amount of cyberbullying that continued even after the tragic death. Again, something that has been done to other teens such as Megan Meiers and Phoebe Prince. There are Facebook pages that are dedicated to making fun of the first suicide attempt of Amanda where she drank bleach. A Facebook page that had been set up in her memory was defaced by a comment that was making fun of the teenager in death and condemning her, ultimately ended up losing his job over it. Apparently no one seems to realize those hateful comments that were left behind can affect your life in many other ways.

Other people have defaced the memory of Amanda and have tried to profit from the girl's death by setting up fraudulent websites claiming to be trying to raise money to assist the family of Amanda in order to help them with associated costs of her death.

"Taking advantage of a family's grief is despicable," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Peter Thiessen said in a statement. "We want to get the word out that there is one real account and anyone who is interested can make a donation at any RBC branch to the Amanda Todd Trust Account."


The authorities that are in charge of the investigation are going through thousands of "tips" that have been coming in since the day Amanda died. The most interested individual they are looking to speak with is the man that took her picture and used it to blackmail and bully her until she died. While the death was noted as a suicide in the media, the officials have not declared that the cause of death is officially a suicide as of yet. The death has been deemed "suspicious in nature and that foul play was not a factor".

The bullying aspect of this story has taken center stage when there is another issue that is equally as dangerous and also something that needs to be the focal point of the issue with bullying as its secondary. Amanda was cyberstalked by an unknown male that she met online. The related issue with the cyberstalking of a man is the fact that the child's photo is now being used as a form of pornography that is being utilized to attract social interactions in the sick game he is playing with a young girl.

Despite the limited information about the investiagtion, criminal charges really depend on what the quality of the evidence is when the man is caught. When asked about what the hacker group Anonymous said about the possible man responsible, they wouldn't comment.

The community has a petition that already recieved over 200,000 signatures that are urging Canada's Intelligence Service to end cyberbullying now. They are pushing for them to pursue legal resources for the people that are still cyberbullying her in her death.

The parents said they felt hopeless through this ordeal as they watched the stalking online unfold. They felt almost powerless to help save their daughter.

Amanda's Online "Troll"Speaks Out

"I got a lot of enjoyment."

Within days of Amanda's death mixed in among the outpouring of love and support. There is a multitude of information out there so be careful where you get your ripon as test subjectues because you don't you to actually see her because she said he wouldn' t

I am pretty sure you would agree with me and I know you will because he needs it...do you think we could take it...I could stay because she has the rest of the bathoom today because you promised...lol. Everyone was talking about it being the best reviews.


I think (unless you have something that day, would you like to go tot he movie at know. Tell your parents so he can sell them...He was my friend I fon't like taking them because I gets so confused when I don't talk them. Going through the extra care and comsis



Possible Idenfication Of Amanda's Tormenter

An Internet hacker group was made aware of the case and was drawn to the possiblity of finding the person responsible due to the sexual nature of the photo used to bully and blackmail her as a minor. It was a crime with an unidentified criminal, that was right up their alley to assist in his identification. The group is called Anonymous and is known to use illegal and legal means to access the information that relates to the desired mission. They are not known and have said they found the person that is responsible for the suicide of Amanda Todd

Anonymous one day released a multitude of information of a Vancouver area man and pegged him as the person responsible for the photo. The social networking sites the man used were disclosed, photos, chat logs, and address including the traditional "Expect Us" Video. Turns out though, it wasn't the right residence of the culprit. He knew Amanda and said that he was a friend of the girl that wanted to find her stalker and that man was inside the United States. The information he had already turned over to authorities. Did the location change complicate anything because its across the border?

The ironic thing is the man they did peg for her stalker had been nominated for an award "blackmailer of the year" by Capper Awards that gives a reward to men who bully young girls into taking their clothes off for the camera.

The information that Anonymous first disclosed was uploaded to a website called pastbin.com. They got involved when naked autopsy photos were leaked of the dead girl.

“We generally don’t like to deal with police first hand but were compelled to put our skills to good use protecting kids,” read an email sent by Anonymous to Canada's CTV News. “Ironically we have some good people in Vancouver who brought this to our admin’s attention. It’s a very sad story that affects all of us.”

Some have concerns about Anonymous and what they term as "vigilantism" and I call modern day Batman. The man that was identified was not her stalker but still was a capper that had girls underage undress on cam. He is not innocent yet because he is now a target of of those that are disgusted with the man and what he has done, and the fact people have a Facebook page that states "he will die" is disturbing some.

There is evidence that was uncovered that sends a trail all the way back to underage good forum on Jailbait Gallery. Anonymous left a youtube message for the man that says he is "an abomination to our society" and "who will be punished". Earlier in the year Reddit had banned the Jailbait section when Anderson Cooper had raised hell about it on television nationally.

Capper Bullying

Cappers use screen-capture live webcam chats to push younger girls to strip for the webcam that can be anything from a boob flash to everything. When they have a girl that gives them everything its called a win. The most demanded video's are of minor girls like Amanda Todd.

While the man that was first unmasked as the culprit by Anonymous is said to no be their guy, the Capper community itself was unmasked as the undeniable link between them and Amanda. In two episodes, at least, the girl was mentioned in 2010 that were discussing the "new cam whores" and all of the "wins". In one of the videos there is a cartoon rendition of the time in seventh grade that she had flashed her boobs for the cam.

Their awards given actually include whoever does the most harm to their victim.

The motivation is simply the thrill they get.

For the simple thrill of it. It’s live, unprofessional and real. These are real girls broadcasting live from their bedrooms, and the fact is that if no one records it then it’s almost as if it never happened because it will never be seen again. The obvious reason why people cap these shows is so that they can watch it again to “Fap” [masturbate] to later on or so that they can show their friends what they missed out [on]. It becomes an addiction for a lot of people to get as many caps as they can and create collections and grade others’ and build reputations; in other words, the more they cap, the more it starts to become a game.


On one message board a man posted,

“Practice will also get you better at being able to not get busted so quickly because some girls are sluts and some girls are prudent sluts; it’s all in the game.” There are extensive archives of loops that cappers can use to convince girls that they are Prince Charming (or at least Prince Hottie).


Even if the image of a child has been identified and they are a minor the capper may not face child pornography charges, that all depends on the state involved. What kind of language the capper is using plays a factor in the determination of what will be charged.

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • abbykorinnelee profile imageAUTHOR

    Abigayle Korinne 

    6 years ago from Plymouth WI

    These stories of the kids I wrote about already, I hope they are always remembered and never forgotten. it will never get better and history will always repeat itself when we don't remember the past. To have a better future for our children we need to remember and also be proactive and not a passive member in society. The man will be caught, this day in age and all the technology, he will be traced and tracked. Plus, her story is so mainstream thanks to the coverage its gotten, that the people of American and Canada will not let it go that easily and public pressure is a huge benefit sometimes.

  • TheDailyMessenger profile image

    TheDailyMessenger 

    6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Abby,

    I read that story, not too long ago. And It was terrible to hear about. I can''t believe people could be so cruel. But, I guess you can't always win so, yeah. May she rest in peace, I am glad that shes in a better place. It sucks though that she had to lose her life to find happiness. :( I hope all of those people who messed with her. I hope they pay their debt for what they have done. No one deserves what Amanda Todd had to go through. And I pray the Police find that cyber-bully. He doesn't deserve a second chance. Not after what he has done.

    TDM

  • abbykorinnelee profile imageAUTHOR

    Abigayle Korinne 

    6 years ago from Plymouth WI

    Just as long as it is in general population

  • abbykorinnelee profile imageAUTHOR

    Abigayle Korinne 

    6 years ago from Plymouth WI

    He can't hide, the whole world is prbably looking for him

  • cheaptrick profile image

    cheaptrick 

    6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

    On a positive note;When these perv's are caught and sent to prison you can be sure they will be on the receiving end and more...I promise.

    Dean

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Donna Lichtenfels 

    6 years ago from California, USA

    The only advice that I know worked for me is NEVER GET TIRED AND NEVER BE AFRAID OF STANDING UP NO MATTER WHAT! No matter who you have to fight and no matter how dirty your fight has to become...protect your children at all costs!

    Today my children, two girls and a boy, are all grown. They and their childhood friends still call me "Psycho Mom", but it is with love and respect, because they know I never stop fighting.

    My son, too, was suspended because he tried to defend himself. Because he tried to punch back after being attacked from behind, the school and police called it "mutual combat". I guess that hasn't changed, sad to say. Power to you in your fight!

  • Mark Johann profile image

    Mark Johann 

    6 years ago from New Zealand

    I feel sorry for Amanda and her family. Life has lots of hardships. We commit mistake and stumble down but we need to get up and face it. Later, we will find ourselves stronger than ever before.

    As for the bad guys out there, your time is getting near. Sometimes you are up there but someday you will be down there regreting and weeping from your wrong doing.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Donna Lichtenfels 

    6 years ago from California, USA

    Bullying must stop! It is ugly and destroys people. I have noticed that much of your writing focuses on bullying and keep it coming... We have to wake up and do everything we can to pressure parents, schools and communities to rise up and make a united, serious commitment to work together to make the bullies stop.

    This is a subject that hits close to home, and I thank God that none of my children took their own lives, but all of my kids experienced some form of bullying while they were growing up. I was a single mom and found that the schools were worthless in their response, so I took matters into my own hands. Someday I will write about it.

    My experience taught me that your children must know, without a doubt, that you, as a parent, will protect them--at any cost...

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