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Amanda Todd - 01
Amanda Michelle Todd (November 27, 1996 – October 10, 2012),[4][5] was a 15-year-old Canadian student and victim of cyberbullying who committed suicide by hangingat her home in Port Coquitlam, a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Prior to her death, Todd had posted a video on YouTube in which she used a series of flash cards to tell her experience of being blackmailed into exposing her breasts via webcam,[3] and of being bullied and physically assaulted. The video went viral after her death,[6] resulting in international media attention. The video has had more than 12 million views as of August 2018.[3] The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and British Columbia Coroners Service launched investigations into the suicide.

In response to her death, Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia, made an online statement of condolence and suggested a national discussion on criminalizing cyberbullying.[7][8] 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.

Background and suicide Edit

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.[9]The video post went viral after her death on October 10, 2012, receiving over 1,600,000 views by October 13, 2012,[10] with news websites from around the world linking to it.

During the video, Todd writes that when she was in grade 7 (2009/2010), around the same time she moved in with her father,[11] she used video chat to meet new people over the Internet and she received compliments on her looks.[9][12] A stranger convinced Todd to bare her breasts on camera (an exploitive phenomenon known as "capping", short for screen capturing),[13] following one year of attempts at having her do so.[9][12] The individual later blackmailed her with threats of providing the topless photo to her friends unless she gave him a "show";[9][12][14] she also featured briefly, albeit circumstantially, on the faux animated news show Daily Capper on BlogTV in an incident which attracted the vigilante attentions of the group Anonymous after her suicide.[15][16] An episode of Daily Capper which attempted to take the moral high ground, very different in tone from their usual exploitative material, was released a month after her death.[17]

Todd wrote that during the Christmas 2010 break, police informed her at 4:00 a.m. that the photo was circulating on the Internet.[9][12] She wrote that she experienced anxiety, depression, and panic disorder due to her experiences of being sexually exploited online and being cyberbullied.[9][12] Her family moved to a new home, where Todd later stated that she began using drugs and alcohol.[9][12][14]

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.[9][12]Again Todd was teased, eventually changing schools for a second time.[9][12] She wrote that she began chatting to "an old guy friend" who contacted her.[9][12] The friend invited Todd to his house, where they had sex while his girlfriend was on holiday.[9][12][18] The following week, the boy's girlfriend and a group of about 15 others confronted Todd at school, shouting insults, with the boy's girlfriend punching her;[9][12] Todd fell to the ground, then lay in a ditch where her father found her.[9][12] Following the attack, Todd attempted suicide by drinking bleach, but she survived after being rushed to hospital to have her stomach pumped.[9][12][14] "It killed me inside and I thought I was gonna actully [sic] die", Todd commented in her video about drinking bleach.[1][9][12]

After returning home, Todd discovered abusive messages about her failed suicide attempt posted to Facebook.[9][12] In March 2012, her family moved to another city to start afresh, but Todd was unable to escape the past.[9][12] According to her mother, "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 Todd's video to her new school", including students, teachers and parents.[19] Six months later, further messages and abuse were still being posted to social networking sites. With Todd's mental state worsening, she began to engage in self-mutilation – cutting.[12] Despite taking her prescribed anti-depressants and receiving counseling, she overdosed and was hospitalized for two days.[12][20]

Todd was taunted by other students at her school for her low grades, a consequence of a language-based learning disability, and for the time she spent in hospital to treat her severe depression.[11] "It didn't really help that after she got out of the hospital recently some kids started calling her 'psycho' and saying she had been in the crazy hospital," her mother said. "She went to the hospital, she had therapy, she had counselling, she was on a good track. On the day she gets out, that happens. I shake my head and I think, 'Are kids really that nasty, do they really not think, what if it was them?'"[11]

On October 10, 2012, at about 6:00 PM (PDT), Todd was found hanging at her home.[21][22] At the time of her death, Todd was a sophomore at CABE Secondary in Coquitlam,[24] a school that caters to students who have experienced social and behaviour issues in previous educational settings.