Amanda Todd - heartbreaking story of cyberbullying - what options?

In case some of you haven’t heard this story, this was a teen from British Columbia that killed herself after years of being bullied and making a heartbreaking anti-bullying video and posting on YouTube.

Video here: Amanda Todd's Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self Harm #RIPAmandaTodd - YouTube

News stories: here

and here

and here

But there are lots.

I just keep thinking, options? Junior high and high school are so short and fleeting, but while there, it’s the world.

From reading the story and watching the video, it seemed like the tormentors were able to leverage the major social media networks to extend their reign of terror over three seperate schools that she was forced to move to.

I thought facebook was supposed to have some anti tormentor function that would allow kids like her to be able to filter it out, but obviously that is not the case here. Tormentors were able to gain her address and details that should not be available on a minor’s page.

So I am left with the belief that at some point, she was the one who provided those details, which I am in all honesty guessing was to friends of hers. Further reading suprised me on sober reflection, that she was not actually bullied in the tradititional sense, but excomunicated by her peers.

The provincial police or RCMP has to go back and find who were the ring leaders of the cabal and charges have to be laid, up to and including involuntary manslaughter.


The links in the OP are screwed up in strange ways, like “http.” instead of “http:”.

The RCMP apparently has tried to track the stalker down but hasn’t been able to.

Perhaps they are running into a wall with the kids clamming up. Its hard to suggest what they might try, that they have not done already. What bothers me most of all about this, is that somewhere in BC , there is one or more female sociopaths, that were able to reach across three schools in two cities and two facebook pages of the victim and stonewall the cops.

I would like to think that we would be able to identify the next Karla Homolka, but apparently not yet. Somewhere some mean girl wanna be, is a timebomb waiting to go off.


Eh. I mean, obviously it’s a very sad situation, and she didn’t deserve that level of scorn thrown at her, but she was clearly a troubled girl. Why this girl was allowed to have internet access after they harassed her the first time is beyond me. I can understand a young girl flashing a stranger, then regretting it. But if that same 15 year old girl then has sex some dude who has a gf less that year after all trouble caused by her poor judgement, she has to own some of this. It’s sad she wasn’t able to get the help she deserved, but this story was likely never going to have a good outcome.

Damn it. Hold on

I can actually sort of understand the hooking up - if she was so desperate and lonely for a friend.

I don’t understand why she was still on the Internet.

As a former bullied kid, I can maybe explain why - because you want them to change their minds about you and accept you. I kept going back to my tormenters for a long time because the alternative (seemed to be) complete non-existence. They’ve judged you as unworthy, and to fix your own self-worth you need them to stop judging you that way. It’s fucked up and illogical, but that’s the way it works.

My view is that 12 year olds shouldn’t have unsupervised internet access to begin with, but I certainly don’t think the girl and her parents deserved the horrible outcome.
It’s definitely disgusting that the stalker kept harassing her and humiliating her like that.
This reminds me of that story about the psychopath teenager who kept making anti-semitic death threats to some guy online over years.
Hopefully the police can trace where these creepy messages came from and get some justice.

While trivial in comparison, I gotta say, that one article is written with such heavy-handed purple prose I can barely stand to read it…eesh, whatever happened to editors?

You nailed it … female sociopaths, IMO the RCMP could redeem themselves and their bruised reputation by finding the SOB who got Amanda to expose herself and then blackmailed her and started this whole thing.
I hope the folks that drove Amanda to suicide have no shortage of sleepless nights!

Don’t cound the Mounties out yet…they’re not stupid.

She has to “own” some of this??! You donkey! You’re full of shit!

VanIsleScott, I can see you’re new here. We don’t allow posters to insult each other unless they’re in The BBQ Pit forum. I’m giving you an official warning here: please don’t do this again.

I felt bullied and abused when I was in school. I always felt like an outcast and that I had few friends. 20 years later I’ve heard from multiple people that I want to school with and respected but thought didn’t like me that they did like me and thought I was one of the nicest people in school.

I wish those who felt bullied in school would be able to remember that life will change and that by hurting yourself you aren’t hurting those who are your “tormentors”

I think there will always be assholes like this in the world. While I definitely believe something should be done about it, I think the best thing we can do in the meantime is teach the victims to think differently about what is happening to them. I think that is part of the purpose behind the ‘‘It Gets Better’’ campaign - to help kids see that their current reality is not the only reality they will ever know. Kids who are victimized should be given better tools to cope with what is happening to them. We need to start doing research on what actually helps and what doesn’t.

Why? Let’s look at what happened here. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on the details:

  1. As a 12-year-old, she flashes a virtual stranger over the internet.
  2. A year later, someone attempts to blackmail her, then releases the pictures to friend/family anyway.
  3. She becomes depressed and anxious.
  4. She moves, and starts taking taking drugs and alcohol
  5. A year later, the guy enters her life again, and shows the pics to her new friends. They ostracize her.
  6. Around the same time she begins cutting herself
  7. She changes schools again
  8. A month later, she communicates again with an old guy friend. Accounts differ on whether she knew he had a girlfriend
  9. She goes to his house, and they have sex.
  10. A mob led by the guy’s GF find her at her new school. The GF beats her up. Students tape the altercation.
  11. Immediately afterward, she tries to commit suicide by drinking bleach.
  12. She moves to another city with her mom.
  13. The kids continue to harass her on FB, cruelly joking about her suicide attempt.
  14. Six months after, she overdoses on drugs.
  15. Soon after, she makes the YouTube video
  16. The next month she kills herself.

Yes, I get that many, many adults in this girl’s life let her down, but she seems to have a history of making really terrible decisions, and not being able to deal with the consequences of those decisions. Like, for example, continuing to have an online presence that allows others to bully you. Flashing strangers. Contacting old “friends”. Having sex with them as a 14 year old. Abusing drugs. Etc. etc.

It’s unfortunate that her peers took such glee in taking advantage, but I don’t know that there is much we can do to change that. Kids are shitty, so others need to be tougher, a little more judicious.

I can appreciate that, at her age, her judgement is less than stellar, but I find it hard to understand how one girl is constantly at the center of all this drama, and is allowed to self-medicate in such destructive ways. Was there really any chance that this girl who is cutting herself, abusing drugs and alcohol, and attempting suicide multiple time would have grown up to be a well-adjusted adult even if we discount the bullying? I doubt it. I suppose that doesn’t make it any less sad, but when I compare her story to the countless stories of people who are bullied to suicide for just being gay, I don’t feel like she is a particularly compelling poster girl for anti-bullying.

You could be describing the relationship I had with my mother for the longest time. In my case part of the problem was that if I tried to talk about it with anybody (not asking for help, just trying to make sense of things), their response was “oh, but you have such wonderful parents! You mother blah blah eulogium of a wannabe socialite who never cared for her children”. Wonder whether this girl also got messages of “you have to try harder” which led her to try harder - in what was completely the wrong direction.

Who the fuck actually bullies a kid so badly they have to switch schools? That needs to be a criminal offense in and of itself.

You make some good points, brickbacon. I don’t know nearly enough to judge her or her bullies, though - was she born messed up, or did circumstances in her life mess her up? Did she have a crappy family? Did she go seeking drama and got more than she could handle? Was she nothing but a victim in all of this? I just don’t know. I do know that it is a very sad thing that she couldn’t seem to get the help she needed for whatever her particular problem was, whether it was bullying or abuse or being a borderline personality.

Yes, she could have handled things much better, but I don’t blame her for not doing so. Teens lack the frontal lobe development to think through the consequences of their poor decisions. Honestly, I think the parents probably bear more responsibility than the girl does (though I hate to say that because I would expect her parents probably feel horrible about what happened). Those of us who grew up in normal families that supervised us enough to prevent something terrible from happening are just luckier than the kids who end up having to navigate teen life on their own and end up in big trouble as a result.
It sounds like the parents in this case probably should have done more to supervise her both online and offline to prevent the flashing/drug abuse/sex/etc., but who knows what their situation is like that might have prevented them from doing that.
In any case, since the girl is dead and her parents are probably devastated, I think they’ve paid the price. :frowning:

Teenagers are dumb - looking back, I am very glad there was no Facebook when I was a teen.

It sounds like she was just so sad, lonely and desperate.