A Canadian teen who filmed a viral anti-bullying video about how she was cyber-stalked by an unknown person who’d obtained a topless photo of her was found dead in her home on Wednesday in an apparent suicide.
Amanda Todd’s video, published September 7, features a heartbreaking description of vicious bullying the 15-year-old endured, retold through a series of note cards on black and white footage. It was viewed several hundred thousand times before she died.
“In 7th grade I would go with friends on webcam,” one of her cards read. “Meet and talk to new people. Then got called stunning, beautiful, perfect, etc… Then wanted me to flash…”
She did, but explained that the decision haunted her for years to come. Whoever was on the other end of that conversation figured out who she was, and the stalking was relentless.
“He knew my address, school, relatives, friends, family, names…” she explained. The man, Todd wrote, wanted her to put on a show for him, and threatened to send her topless photo to all of her contacts. And then he did.
“I then got really sick anxiety major depression and panic disorder,” Todd went on. “I then moved and got into alcohol and drugs.”
Even at her new address, the man still found her, this time setting up a Facebook page with the shot of her breasts as the profile photo. “Cried every night, lost all my friends and respect people had for me … again,” she explained. “I can never get that photo back. It’s out there forever.”
Things went downhill for Todd yet again after she “hooked up” with a boy she thought liked her, but she claimed he led her on and had a girlfriend at the time. Then, the girl showed up at Todd’s new school and attacked her, in an assault she said was filmed by a crowd of bystanders.
“Teachers ran over but I just went and layed [sic] in a ditch and my dad found me,” she wrote. “I wanted to die so bad when he brought me home I drank bleach.”
Her video closes with a simple message: “I have nobody… I need someone.”
School officials in Coquitlam, British Columbia told the CTV that they were aware of the video and tried to help the girl, but their outreach was futile. “It’s not a simplistic answer, how you stop bullying,” Coquitlam school board member Cheryl Quinton reportedly said. “Social media now has added a whole new dimension.”
This video is from CNN, broadcast Friday, October 12, 2012.
This video is from YouTube, published by Amanda Todd on September 7, 2012.