Back in October of 2012, a teenager from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia committed suicide due to her struggles with bullying and cyber-bullying. At the age of 12, Amanda Todd was taken advantage of when an older male persuaded her to flash her breasts on an online webcam group chat. Someone screenshotted it and sent it around to all of Amanda’s Facebook friends and her life took a turn for the worst. From then on she would continuously receive threats and hate comments both online and in person. Through these events, Amanda’s struggles with depression and anxiety skyrocketed. She moved around to many different towns and schools although the photo haunted her everywhere she went, the bullying never stopped. In September of 2012, Amanda posted a soon-to-be viral Youtube video titled “My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm” telling her story about her struggles with bullying. Soon after in October 10, 2012, Amanda Todd took her own life in her home.
Now in 2018 the chilling YouTube video has over 12 million views and was watched by people from all over the world. Her story sparked a conversation on bullying, specifically cyberbullying which was considered relatively new at the time. It brought light to something that was new and was never going away. Bullying had surpassed name-calling and stuffing kids in lockers. Social media gave individuals the ability to hate on someone anonymously and within the comfort of their own homes. It spread awareness on how to be safe, avoid predators online and it sparked a conversation amongst families within Canada and all over the world about cyberbullying and online safety.
Cyber-bullying has existed since the early 2000’s with the introduction of social media sites like myspace and Facebook. Although, it was an issue noticed by those affected by it and it was not viewed as a public issue. Social media is growing exponentially by the minute, making it easier for anyone to hide behind a screen and post or message something hurtful without thinking twice. Amanda’s story exposed an ongoing issue within the new social media world. It was a story that went viral throughout mainstream media and ironically social media. It made people realise the effects of bullying and how one mean comment or post could cause someone to do the unthinkable and end their own life. As a society we must end this online hate culture that is so prevalent throughout social media and continue to share stories like Amanda’s in order to spread awareness and prevent the horrific outcomes of cyberbullying.
Leung Wency, and Dakshana Bascaramurty. “Amanda Todd Tragedy Highlights How Social Media Makes Bullying Inescapable.” The Globe and Mail, 12 Oct. 2012, www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/amanda-todd-tragedy-highlights-how-social-media-makes-bullying-inescapable/article4611068/.
“Timeline of the Amanda Todd Cyberbullying Case.” Www.vancouversun.com, 18 Apr. 2014, www.vancouversun.com/technology/Timeline Amanda Todd cyberbullying case/9750949/story.html.
TheSomebodytoknow. My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm, YouTube, 7 Sept. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOHXGNx-E7E&t=12s.