You may have read about the heartbreaking story of Amanda Todd, a Canadian teenager who recently posted a much-watched YouTube video (posted below) detailing the bullying and harassment she’d endured online and in real life. This past Wednesday, she was found dead, the apparent victim of suicide.
Here, from the Vancouver Sun, is the basic outline of Amanda’s story:
Amanda was 12 years old when she made a mistake that would haunt her until her death three years later.
Her ordeal started while she was fooling around online with friends. She probably didn’t think it was risky behaviour when she lifted her top to flash the person who was flattering her at the other end of the webcam.
Amanda’s moment of indiscretion was not unusual for someone her age: Sexting and using webcams to share sexual photos is a growing trend among children, some so young they are still in grade school.
“The Internet stalker she flashed kept stalking her,” said Carol. “Every time she moved schools he would go undercover and become a Facebook friend. What the guy did was he went online to the kids who went to (the new school) and said that he was going to be a new student — that he was starting school the following week and that he wanted some friends and could they friend him on Facebook.”
“He eventually gathered people’s names and sent Amanda’s video to her new school.”
The video and photos went to teachers, to parents, to Facebook friends, which lead to repeated taunts: “Oh, there’s the porn star.” …
Amanda was the victim of unrelenting blackmail. And the cyberspace stalker was aided by people in Amanda’s real-world life — kids who would share the photos on their cellphones, kids who would gang up to hurl first verbal abuse and then fists at her.
Amanda’s story illustrates what can happen to young girls when sexualized images of them floating around online, whether they’ve put these pictures up themselves in a moment of poor judgement or whether someone has stolen them from password-locked private photo albums, or whether someone has surreptitiously taken an “upskirt” or “down-the-blouse” or some other compromising picture of them in public. This is the sort of damage that things like the Jailbait and Creepshots subreddits can do to young girls. This is why it’s so important that things like these subreddits be shut the fuck down.
Sadly, even after her suicide, Amanda remains the target of bullies and assholes online.
One of these assholes? The MRA and atheist videoblogger and all-around terrible person known to the world as The Amazing Atheist, whom we first met when he had a Reddit meltdown and started spewing misogynistic abuse at his detractors. Now he’s spitting on Amanda’s memory.
Mocking the format of Amanda’s video, in which told her story by holding up sheets of paper to the camera describing the abuse she’s endured, The Amazing Atheist posted this picture to his Tumblr blog earlier today:
I simply can’t comprehend the mind of someone whose response to Amanda’s story is this. Beyond awful.
Here’s Amanda’s video: