Amanda Todd, found dead after years of cyber-bullying
Amanda Todd, a Vancouver-area teenager who posted a video on to her channel on YouTube in September about being cyber-bullied by her fellow students and an unidentified mail, was found dead on October 10th inCoquitlam,Canada. In the video, Todd described using webcam chats to meet new people when she was student in the seventh grade. She talked about how she was flattered into “flashing” her chest to a stranger on a video chat at age 13. A year later the man threatened to spread the photos to family and friends if she didn’t agree to show him more. When Todd refused the unknown man went through with his threat, leading to bullying in school that brought her into a downward spiral of drugs and depression.
As a result, she changed schools and made a new group of friends in an effort to forget her past and the bullies. However, the same man created a Facebook profile and used the uncensored photo of her chest as his profile picture, then added all of the students in her new school. “I cried every night, lost all my friends and respect people had for me… again… then nobody liked me,” she wrote in the video.
Soon after, the bullying started again and she began to cut herself. Amanda moved to yet another school, where a boy began to her lead on. However, he already had a girlfriend. Believing the boy truly liked her; she went to his house while his girlfriend was away on vacation and “hooked up” with him. Shortly after, a troupe of girls led by the boy’s girlfriend came and beat her up. “Kids filmed it,” she wrote. “I was all alone and left on the ground. Teachers ran over but I just went and layed in a ditch, and my dad found me.” When she went home with her dad, she drank bleach in an attempt to kill herself. However, she was saved after her father brought her to the hospital, where she got her stomach pumped. The next card on the video stated “After I got home all I saw on Facebook- She deserved it and did you wash the mud out of your hair? I hope she is dead.”
The Internet Hacking and Activist group, Anonymous, identified a 32-year-old man as Todd’s alleged blackmailer and main tormentor. The group published the Vancouver-area man’s name and address on the Internet. After investigating the tip, the police determined that the allegations were found to be false. According to an interview with the Vancouver Sun, the publication of his identity on social media sites has resulted in over 50 emails and “thousands” of Facebook death threats.
She changed schools once again but the relentless bullying didn’t stop there. “6 months has gone by… people are pasting pics of bleach, clorax and ditches… Every day I think why am I still here.” Her struggles with anxiety and cutting had gotten worse, despite counseling and antidepressants. She was rushed to hospital once again after an overdose on her medications. She was found dead in her home on October 10th at the age of 15. The cause of death was unreleased.