Amanda Todd exposed her breasts online when she was in the 7th grade. She became the victim of severe cyberbullying which culminated in her suicide at the age of 15.
Her story is one of the most well known of its kind on the net. It became a clarion call for laws against cyberbullying and cybercrime.
4 years after her death, a Dutch court has approved the extradition of a Dutchman to Canada over her cyberbullying. It’s an important step for justice in our world that has become socially reliant on the internet.
To remind you of this case, I post an old blog of mine as well as the devastatingly sad video she made. I encourage you to watch it, treating depression and internet safety as a priority in your family.
And, please, do not say something online that you wouldn’t say to a person’s face.
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We live in a cruel world. Amanda Todd’s suicide in October 2012 rammed that fact painfully home. If you’re unaware of her, she was a 15-year-old, Canadian girl who hung herself. Before that, she’d cut herself. She had taken drugs. She’d overdosed on bleach. She changed schools several times and then just stopped going. Through all of this, she never got the help she needed. Sure, she got anti-depressants but what she really needed was a friend. Her YouTube video screams “ALONE!”
“I’m struggling to stay in this world,” she said,” because everything just touches me so deeply. I’m not doing this for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although I’m sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyone’s future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I ?”
One month later, she wasn’t.
Amanda Todd was a victim of bullying. I acutely remember what that was like as a child. I fought back and it changed my life. Some teens don’t know how to. Some teens never get inspired to be stronger. Some teens ‘grow’ into ghosts of adults. Some just die.
So when you see bullying – STOP IT! There’s no such thing as a cool bully. No cool crowd would do that. And standing up for someone will be standing up for yourself too. Stop bullying.
R.I.P. Amanda Todd.
PS: Read Amanda Palmer’s thoughts on this tragedy.