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The Amazing Atheist spits on the memory of Amanda Todd [TW: bullying, sexual shaming, self-harm, suicide]

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:

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Dale Husband
Dale Husband
8 years ago

P Z Myers also blogged about that.

The Unamazing @$$hole then responded with this comment:
http://amazingatheist.tumblr.com/post/33569882975/hey-tj-you-are-not-liked-over-pharyngula-right-now
“Pharyngula? Isn’t that PZ Myers shitty little let’s-all-get-offended blog? Who could give a fuck about that anymore? In 2008 maybe that meant something, but that guy has gone off the deep end. The Thunderf00t debacle bears that out.”

xardoz
8 years ago

The Amazing Manbaby has no empathy. He has a track record of saying this kind of heartless crap about suicidal people before.

Just because HE isn’t troubled by suicidal thoughts, he thinks everyone who has committed or attempted suicide is stupid. He’s the king of lazy internet solipsism.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

I read the article someone linked above. The article was good, but the apologists in the comment thread made me throw up in my mouth a little. They could of just kept their mouths shut and let people empathize and mourn this poor girl, but something about framing her tragedy as driven by sexism and misogyny just made some of these guys livid.

But still, what couldn’t they just keep their mouths shut? I mean, just this once?

There was a lot of smack talk about how she made “mistakes” and how she should be responsible for them, and blah-blah-blargity-blah.

Someone totally fucked with her, then her peers fucked with her. Really, no sympathy at all? Would admitting that a girl was fucked with such a threat to their insular worldview?

These people are very small and unevolved…I don’t know how else to say it.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Huffington Post seems to have quite the MRA/NiceGuy troll family – though in fairness that’s on the US version I’ve seen most often, not this one, and none of the names were familiar. I gave up reading that site because not one single article could be posted about women’s concerns without the squeals about “why isn’t there a HuffPo men’s page?” and “women are evil sluts who then deny sex to their poor husbands” and so on and so on.

pecunium
8 years ago

Jeko: Are you paying attention?

No.

1: This is Dave’s place. Think of it as his living room, and we are all guests. If he doesn’t like the way we act, he’s absolutely entitled to give us the bum’s rush.

2: He, by and large, doesn’t. Take a good look at any other thread. Examine them in detail I recommend you look for NWO. You could do a google string search for Brandon, David K. Meller, NWO Slave, or M R A L (take the spaces out), Tom Martin, or Toy Soldier, and see how much slack they were given.

3: He warned people., straight up, what was allowed. They chose to ignore that warning. Oops. If you go to China Lake Naval Weapons Station, and cross the fence, don’t be surprised if they shoot you; that’s if you don’t get killed by the minefields the signs on the fence warn you about. They aren’t joking.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

I dunno, kitteh, I guess my mistake was trying to understand the mind-set of these whining trolls. They kind of remind of a bratty child who was under the impression they were the center of their parents’ universe, then another kid comes along and gets some attention because she scraped her knee. And they get all, “Waaaaah! She isn’t in pain! Now look at meeeeeeee!” Eh, I dunno.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Yeah, it’s not a mindset I can grasp without putting my Cynical Cap and Hostile Glasses on.

Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

Well, me neither. I guess I find their lack of self-awareness unbelieveable. I mean, has no one in their life ever said, “Would you just listen to yourself?” I guess not. The self-examination just isn’t there.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago
Shiraz
Shiraz
8 years ago

Yes! That’s what I’m talking about, Sir Bodsworth.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I read the article someone linked above. The article was good, but the apologists in the comment thread made me throw up in my mouth a little. They could of just kept their mouths shut and let people empathize and mourn this poor girl, but something about framing her tragedy as driven by sexism and misogyny just made some of these guys livid.

But still, what couldn’t they just keep their mouths shut? I mean, just this once?

I read all those comments, too, and they were awful. They were trying to make her mom into the villian and the stalker as either a victim or another woman. If they had actually read the stories or watched her video, they would have known better, unless they were just straight up lying.

Kim
Kim
8 years ago

@Sporklift
It’s bizarre to hear that your mother was fiercely anti-bullying and yet she didn’t recognise what was happening to you, and she didn’t do anything about it.

Have you spoken to her about it now you’re older? Does she believe it now? What did she consider to be ‘real’ bullying? What do you think she should/could have done at the time to fix things?

randomguy
randomguy
8 years ago

Gotta love facebook. Let’s see what the responses to this incident were: blaming the girl, blaming the parents, wanting the stalker to be raped/tortured/executed (even by vigilantes, it’s ok). Dammit, I’m forgetting some.

Well, anyway, FB is just not that good for your sanity.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Sir Bodsworth – if only!

Mind you there are those out there who’d listen to their own horrible messages and still think they were heroes.

Hesster
Hesster
8 years ago

@theboinicmommy

I saw those comments on that article too. If you look at the username of the one trying to pin the stalker as a lesbian, you’ll notice it looks very, very familiar.

For those who don’t want to look it up (provided it hasn’t been deleted) it’s our old friend “Dr.” Pell. I guess the lying little troll followed the link too.

fred
fred
8 years ago

There are “people” who live today that are no different than the people who lives in the times of the Roman coliseums, the theaters of death that pervaded that era of violence and butchery. Sick, twisted, perverse, and loathsome people who won’t stop a second to see the pain and misery they cause other people from their indifference to their fellow human beings, beings as valuable and vital as they think they are. These “people” can blame the mother and father for not being there, or whomever, but they don’t own the intelligence and compassion to blame the real perpetrators of her slide into suicide – their inhumanity.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

Oh fuck, Dave’s not letting them spew their shit here, so they take it out on this poor blogger I linked who has no familiarity with these fuckwits whatever. Poor person must be wondering what the hell happened to the internet to make everyone so awful.

pecunium
8 years ago

Did anyone call the little weasel-turd out?

leftwingfox
8 years ago

What the hell is wrong with this guy?

Shit, I received some pretty traumatic bullying in Jr. High. I wore a shirt with Fido Dido wearing a clown hat, and some asshole told everyone it was a klansman. For the next 3 months, I had people I didn’t know telling me their friend saw a burnt cross in my front yard. I had girls smack me in the head in class without repercussion. I had friends ditch me in favour of the bullies, to the point where they participated in helping me get beat up. I began having suicidal thought, which honestly have never really gone away, even 25 years later.

I was lucky; I still had good friends and a fantastic family, and the fear of hurting them by my actions outweighed the pain I was going through. It was the only thing preventing my fantasies of walking into the gym locker room with pipe bombs and several pounds of nails from becoming a reality.

And TAA has gone through bullying himself? How can anyone who has gone through that sort of bullying have anything but sympathy for Amanda Todd?

Pluto Animus
Pluto Animus
8 years ago

Amazing Atheist, you’re an amazing asshole!

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

Pecunium, I think you’re going to have to be a bit more specific about the weasel turd in question.

pecunium
8 years ago

Pell. I was wondering if anyone who saw his comments there pointed out what a sad sack of shit he is.

Leon
8 years ago

I see he’s also an admitted liar, unless of course he killed himself later that day?

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

I see he’s also an admitted liar, unless of course he killed himself later that day?

That takes me back to the 1990s and (this is a reference probably only Aussies will know about) that idiot Pauline Hanson and her “If you are watching this video, I am dead” nonsense. Which she wasn’t, and isn’t.

Alex
8 years ago

“Amanda was 12 years old when she made a mistake that would haunt her until her death three years later.”

Oh, fuck this shit! Mistake? She made a mistake? Consensually posting a picture of your boobs isn’t a mistake. Spreading a picture of someone’s breasts without the breasts-owner’s consent is sexual assault. It wasn’t a “mistake” that haunted her; it was a rapey piece of rat shit.

pillowinhell
pillowinhell
8 years ago

The hacker group Annymous has released the identity of a man they allege is Amamda Todds tomentor.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/15/bc-amanda-todd-tormentor-anonymous.html?cmp=rss

Cthulhu's Intern
8 years ago

pillowinhell: That’s great that they found him, although I fear they’re going to just do the same thing he did to Amanda to him. Even though this guy was disgusting, nobody should do that to him. They should just get him arrested and punished by the law. Has anyone told the police yet?

rengeko
8 years ago

i was a weird kid, and a minority at my school. (inner city magnet school) i only attended 1 year of high school, and in the normal run of things, i would have been bullied. my brother, in the grade below, was bullied and harassed daily. the only thing that saved me from bullying was that pretty much everyone thought i was crazy. i was not a normal kid, and i showed it. it’s a shame that the only thing that kept those kids from harassing me was fear. they saw what i did everyday, they didn’t want to know what i might do if upset. i never saw anyone bullied in front of me, because i sure would have jumped in. i agree with the poster upthread, skeptifem? who thinks the environment of school makes for a rigid and hierarchical system in which there have to be losers. the stupid thing is that most of those “high school winners” get out into the world and are suddenly REALLY not important. the only answer i have is reforming schools, although, i would have to say that romney’s behaviour has completely been that of the bully he was as a teen. so it doesn’t always go away.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

That’s what I was wondering. Vigilantism is wrong anyway, but with the additonal “what if it’s NOT him?” question it gets even uglier. Give the details to the police and let them do their job.

picklejello
picklejello
8 years ago

I just looked it up, and from the image I’ve seen, it’s circumstantial evidence that he did this to Amanda Todd. It may not be him. However, it’s pretty much certain that he did have a victim who was a child. So he should be reported to the police.
With all the attention from the media this case has, we shouldn’t have to worry about the police putting off an investigation for this like they do with many rape cases.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Have they handed this info over to law enforcement? Not only is just handing it over to the general public a bad idea because of potential vigilante stuff, it’s also possible that the cops may already have eliminated this person from this particular investigation, or that leaking the name too soon might interfere with their ability to actually get a conviction.

Basically I’m hoping they’ve done the smart thing and just helpfully passed on whatever info they have to the proper law enforcement agencies.

princessbonbon
8 years ago

And will the evidence be admissible in court?

Cthulhu's Intern
8 years ago

Cassandra: I don’t know if they have. Probably a few, but judging from what I know about most cases of Internet justice, I can make an educated guess that most haven’t and are probably sending him pizza or something.
princessbonbon: Yes. They didn’t do anything illegal, surprisingly. They managed to find it entirely through information he posted on the Internet and Google cache. This guy is apparently a huge participant in “jailbait” websites.

stream angel
stream angel
8 years ago

All that needs to be said HAS been said in the above comments.
People, we need NEW strategies to deal with all this. I am a relative newcomer to YouTube & the world of YouTube commenting, but after only several weeks of dealing with the likes of Amazing Atheist & the MRA, I can see the same action-response-action-response cycles have been going on for years.
They call for “reasoned debate”, but its just a waste of time, as through the likes of GirlWritesShit & Wanking Mr E, they’ve all learned to stop any discussion from getting past the first point, by endlessly calling up bogus rules of “Socratic Debate” , & infinitely challenging you with endless logistical nitpicking. Fuck it ! Don’t play by their rules. It’s not a “level playing field” to begin with.
We are right & don’t need to “prove” it. It’s not a televised debate. We won’t change their views & they won’t change ours.
As a start, I could make the following suggestions –
Find the good videos & “like” them. Don’t bother watching the shit (you know what they’re saying anyway, & every view gives them another “point”) but “dislike” it anyway. There are a few amazing asshole videos where the vote is so split that it could be tipped by just a few dozen people.
Encourage EVERYONE you know to do likewise (perhaps focusing on particular postings).
PLEASE leave messages of support on the good videos. Sometimes dozens of people have “liked” a Youtube video, but NONE of them have actually commented, leaving the comments boxes to be filled up only by the assholes. Imagine how this makes the video maker feel.
Make your own videos & get them out there.
Be CREATIVE – they can’t. Instead of leaving insults or offering “reasoned argument” to be endlessly nitpicked over – do something different. Reply by typing their comment backwards or ask them a zen koan, & that quickly stops them ranting their drivel. They’re thrown off script, & they don’t know what to do.
Finally, try to make links between each other & team up with like minded souls on the internet. So many people (myself included) seem to be working away at this alone, yet I get the impression that there are a great number of us who feel the same way.
I have been inspired to make a few little videos of my own, & would appreciate if people could watch them, “like” them & leave a comment (& if you want to work together, just say so & I’ll get right back to you). I don’t know jackshit about leaving “links” here (I’m very new to computers) but if you go to YouTube & type in “Feminism otherseed” the videos will come up. Being a newcomer, I need all the gracious support I can get, as I notice the haters get in quick.
I’m up for working with anyone, in any respect, in order to challenge all the internet misogyny.

The Stepford Knife
The Stepford Knife
8 years ago

“I’m pretty convinced that US culture particularly hates teenage girls. Make the kind of mistakes common to all people but really common with people your age, and one that only hurts yourself? You’re a pariah and deserve everything you get.”

Wordspinner, sadly this isn’t confined to the US. In the UK we recently had a case where a married 30-year-old teacher, Jeremy Forrest, had an affair with a 15-year-old pupil, which made the news when they ran away to France together. Being under 16 means she is not legally capable of consenting to go with him, so this is technically abduction and this is what Forrest has been charged with. This seems fairly straightforward and simple to understand, along with the idea that adults in positions of responsibility should not exploit the naive and hormonal lovestruck teenagers in their care, but look at most online news reports and you’ll see hundreds of depressing comments expressing sympathy for the poor defenceless man who was seduced by the wicked 15-year-old temptress, suggestions that she should be punished for what she did to the poor ickle man,and general creepiness, slut-shaming and victim-blaming.

Here we also have similar problems with topless photos being circulated on Facebook and elsewhere, and these being used for the purposes of blackmail. There’s a good article on it here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/sep/22/creepshots-revenge-porn-paparazzi-women

Like many of the commenters on this article I’m just glad I went to an all-girls’ school, and at a time before cameraphones were invented.

KathleenB
KathleenB
8 years ago

The Kittehs’ Unpaid Help: As soon as we found out his cancer was terminal, my dad left VERY specific instructions for what to do when he passed. They basically consisted of:
1) Have a party
2) A BIG party
3) Make everyone wear hawaiian shirts (the louder, the better) and leis
4) Provide lots of good booze and food
5) Play good music

It was pretty awesome. Having a party didn’t make it any easier to lose him, but being encouraged to remember the fun times made the first month or so a lot easier to bear.

Alex
8 years ago

I hate this guy, I really do. He reminds me way too much of a stalker I had in high school. Similar narcissism and sexism, same type of arguments, same radiating hatred, he even looks similar. He isn’t the same person, but boy they would make good friends.

This girl was a victim. She had no chance to become a survivor. That man and those bullies are her murderers as far as I’m concerned. It had nothing to do with whatever “mistake” she made. She didn’t “mess up”. A stalker and bullies happened to her. She didn’t invite them with “risky behaviour” anymore than a woman does by walking alone at night or by getting drunk. I’m so sick of articles framing it like this happened because of what she did, even if they’re otherwise well-meaning. THEY’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Also, back up where I said “consensual”, I wasn’t aware at the time that it was a grown-ass man, and that he had coerced her into it. That just makes it worse. Not only was she bullied for being sexually assaulted, she was bullied for being sexually assaulted…that was a result of a previous sexual assault.

Morgan
Morgan
8 years ago

These past few months, Amanda Todd’s death has been one of way too fucking (sorry, David) many within these last few months, and I just…I can barely articulate how I feel about it. The anti-bullying stuff I’m a follower of on fb have been going into overdrive.

Yet sometimes it feels like all that we try and do to end all this, people like The Amazing Asshole (borrowing that one; it’s so fitting!), the slut-shamers, blamers and so fourth, just yell louder. That’s what really, really depresses me.

Amanda, RIP.

lauralot89
8 years ago

Some Grey Bloke just made a rather timely video mentioning TAA:

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Curse this soundless computer! I’ll have to listen to this at home.

luy
luy
8 years ago

Don’t you see it?! God didn’t do this, facebook didn’t do this, WE did it. The people who ignored Amanda’s cries for help, the people who mock of her and just add to the pile, and the direct responsible for iniating all this, they do it.

pecunium
8 years ago

Who here said that God did it, etc.?

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Saying “facebook didn’t do this” is pretty strange given it’s people on these sites – and owners of sites who refuse to police them at all – who are responsible for this sort of thing.

blackbelt_jones (@UgglyBabee)

>>They call for “reasoned debate”, but its just a waste of time, as through the likes of GirlWritesShit & Wanking Mr E, they’ve all learned to stop any discussion from getting past the first point, by endlessly calling up bogus rules of “Socratic Debate”

Yeah yeah, we all know he’s an arrogant asshole, but there’s another side to the Amazing Atheist. He’s also really stupid. His arguments are dishonest and fake.

Socrates never tried to pass off loaded strawman horseshit like this as “reasoned debate”

http://youtu.be/Rxz1kH1LI68

Eva
Eva
7 years ago

It isnt awful the way he responded to her. First off, she flashed the camera. Yes the bullying wasnt needed, but SHE FLASHED HER CHEST . SHE DIDNT RESPECT HERSELF, why don’t you people comprehend that? GET OFF THE DAMN BANDWAGON.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Eva, you’re saying she deserved to die because she flashed her chest? Congratulations on being a terrible human being.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

“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.”

Three. Fucking. Years. That isn’t “well of course people commented on her boobs”, that’s continual harassment for years. And fuck, she was a teenager, shouldn’t this have counted as child porn and thus everyone who viewed it looked into and the video taken down and the whole thing gone hush hush in no time flat?

But wtf part of flashing a camera online makes harassing her in person acceptable?!

Jake B.
Jake B.
7 years ago

He truly is an evil man, isn’t he? He’s a complete sociopath that deserves nothing but an eternity of pain and suffering.

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

Nope, I’ve read that 3 times and it still makes no sense.

Who is “he”? Who are you? And what are you doing posting this nonsense on a months old thread?