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Research on Amanda Todd: Cyberbullying Essay

Todd’s suicide received widespread, international media coverage, much of which included a link to Todd’s YouTube video and an email address provided by the RCMP appealing for information from the public. Within 24 hours of the appeal, over 400 tips were received.[9] The RCMP has stated that its investigation was hindered by the amount of false information in online postings after Todd’s death, and scams claiming to raise money for her family. Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old Canadian schoolgirl hanged herself, last week, after years of unrelenting abuse by peers and online predators, one of whom persuaded her to flash her breasts and then shared the picture around the world. In a personal video posted on the internet weeks before her death, Amanda told her story of “struggling, bullying, suicide, self-harm”. The sexual bullying of women and girls online is not a new phenomenon and Amanda’s story is not unusual. A quick search shows hundreds of similar videos of tormented young women across the world telling intimate tales of loneliness and abuse, often by bullies who use the internet to ogle and harass women and girls with impunity. What is unusual is that this week, a fight back began.

Since her suicide, more than one million Facebook users have “liked” Todd’s Facebook memorial page.[9][33][34] Mingled among the positive support and comments are continuing attack posts and images from strangers and those claiming to be her former classmates, such as a message stating “I’m so happy she’s dead now.” [9] After one man’s derogatory Facebook comments about Todd’s death were reported to his employer, the Grafton-Fraser Mr. Big & Tall clothing chain confirmed that he was no longer an employee

Of course, the problem is far bigger than a few isolated creeps. The problem is a culture that persecutes women and girls for being visible online and in the physical world. Until bullies everywhere, in schools, on the internet and in positions of power, get the message that sexual abuse and harassment of women and girls has real, tangible consequences for them as well as for their victims, vigilante e-justice will remain the only effective way for
women and their supporters to hit back.

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