Amanda Todd committed suicide on October 10, 2012 at her home in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. Prior to her death, Todd posted a video on YouTube in which she used a series of flash cards to tell of her experience of being blackmailed, bullied, and physically assaulted. The video went viral after her death, resulting in international media attention.
Amanda Michelle Todd was born in British Columbia on November 27, 1996. At the time of her death, she was a grade 10 student at CABE Secondary in Coquitlam, a school that caters to students who have experienced social and behavior issues in previous educational settings.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and British Columbia Coroners Service launched investigations into the suicide.
In response to the death, Christy Clark the premier of British Colombia made an online statement of condolence suggesting a national discussion on criminalizing cyber bullying Also, a motion was introduced in the Canadian House of Commons to propose a study of the scope of bullying in Canada, and for more funding and support for anti-bullying organizations. Todd's mother, Carol, established the Amanda Todd Trust, receiving donations to support anti-bullying awareness education and programs for young people with mental health problems.
On September 7, 2012, Todd posted a 9-minute youtube video entitled My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self harm, which showed her using a series of flashcards to tell of her experiences being bullied. The video post went viral, receiving over 1,600,000 views by October 13, 2012, ] with online newspapers around the world linking to it.
During the video, Todd writes that when she was in Grade 7 she used video chat to meet new people over the Internet and she received compliments on her looks. A stranger convinced Todd to bare her breasts on camera. The individual later blackmailed her with threats to expose the topless photo to her friends unless she gave a "show".
Todd wrote that during the next Christmas break, police informed her at 4:00 am that the photo was circulating the Internet. Todd wrote that she experienced anxiety, depression and a panic disorder because of this. Her family moved to a new home, where Todd later stated that she began using drugs and alcohol.
A year later, the individual reappeared, creating a Facebook profile which used the topless photograph as the profile image, and contacting classmates at her new school. Again Todd was teased, eventually changing schools for a second time. She wrote that she began chatting to "an old guy friend" who appeared to her. The friend asked Todd to come to his house where they had sex while his girlfriend was on holiday the following week, the girlfriend and a group of others attacked Todd at school while shouting insults and punching her to the ground. Following the attack, Todd attempted suicide by drinking bleach, but she was rushed to hospital to have her stomach pumped.
After returning home, Todd discovered abusive messages about her failed suicide attempt posted to Facebook. Her family moved to another city to start afresh, but Todd was unable to escape the past. Six months later further messages and abuse were still being posted to social networking sites. Her mental state worsening, she began to engage in self-mutilation Despite taking anti-depressants and receiving counselling, she took an overdose and spent two days in hospital.
Todd was teased by other students at her school for her low grades, a consequence of a language-ba
On October 10, 2012 at about 6:00 PM Todd was found hanged at her home
A preliminary investigation by British Columbia Coroners Service show that Todd's death was a suicide. Investigators know the means by which she died, but will not release the information The cause of death has been reported in the media as hanging.
Both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and British Columbia Coroners Service have launched an investigation with 20 full-time investigators working on the case. The Coquitlam and Ridge Meadows' serious crime teams are cooperating in a full investigation, conducting interviews and examining possible potential factors that may have contributed to her death Investigators are reviewing content at social media sites, and are actively monitoring pages.
The Canadian national organization cybertip.ca reports having received a tip about Todd nearly one year ago. The anti-child-exploitation group stated that in November 2011, a concerned citizen reported that images of Todd were in circulation on the Internet. That information was provided to law enforcement as well as child welfare agencies
Todd's suicide received widespread, international media coverage, much of which included a link to Todd's YouTube video and an email address provided by the RCMP appealing for information from the public. Within 24 hours of the appeal, over 400 tips were received the RCMP has stated their investigation was hindered by the amount of false information in online postings after Todd's death, and scams claiming to raise money for her family On October 19, 2012, a series of vigils was held across Canada and internationally to remember Todd and other victims of bullying.A Minute of Silence was observed by a quarter of a million students in the toronto district school board. On that same date, Todd's mother was a guest of the 2012 We day event in Vancouver, a week after Todd's death. Bullying had been scheduled as a topic prior to Todd's death and was addressed by speakers Magic Johnson , musician and anti-bullying advocate Demi lovato and British Columbia Premier Christy clark.
Initially Amanda Todd's mother was denied entry into an anti-bullying conference for fear that it would upset other attendees. The family was invited to attend later events.
On November 18, 2012, 600 people gathered at a final farewell ceremony for Todd at red robinson theatre in Coquitlam, near her home. Todd's mother Carol told the gathering that her daughter has left behind “a larger than life message that has sparked the world and has made it open its eyes, its ears and its hearts.”
Internet hacking and activist group Anonymous alleged a 32-year-old man was Todd's alleged blackmailer and main tormentor. The group published the Vancouver-area man's name and address on the Internet resulting in the man's receipt of online threats of vigilante justice. After investigating the tip, police determined that the allegations were unfounded, and said that "false information that is being spread by people who appear to be trying to use Amanda’s story to do harm or make a profit" was one of the challenges they faced.
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. A member of Anonymous had attempted to dissuade the group from publishing the information, saying that they had the right person but that the address being published belonged to someone else, not the target. Slate reported that the person who was actually responsible turned out to be 19 rather than 32.Social media
Since her suicide, more than one million Facebook users have "liked" Todd's Facebook memorial page. Mingled among the positive support and comments are continuing attack posts and images from strangers and those claiming to be her former classmates, such as a message stating "I'm so happy she's dead now." After one man's derogatory Facebook comments about Todd's death were reported to his employer, the Grafton-Fraser Mr. Big & Tall clothing chain confirmed that he was no longer an employee.
On October 19, 2012, police in New Zealand said they were questioning a 17-year-old boy from Raglan who allegedly posted "inappropriate and disturbing images" on a memorial page for Todd. Police removed the images and shut down the boy's Facebook page.
Amanda Todd Trust
Todd's mother, Carol, has established the Amanda Todd Trust at the Royal Bank of Canada, receiving donations to support anti-bullying awareness education and programs for young people with mental health problems.
In response to the death of Todd, a motion was introduced in the Canadian House of Commons by member of parliament Dany Morin of the New Democratic Party. The motion proposed a study of the scope of bullying in Canada, and for more funding and support for anti-bullying organizations. It was also intended to lay the groundwork for a national strategy to prevent bullying. Morin had also experienced bullying while in school.
We all need to learn from this, from her, so this doesn't have to happen again :(