It turns out not even suicide has put an end to the bullying of Amanda Todd.
The Facebook page dedicated to her has been littered with mocking comments, photos of bleach with captions like “Shut up and drink your juice” – a reference to a previous suicide attempt. The photo that started it all, a topless photo of Amanda, even made it to the page. Both photos have since been taken down.
Under the post “1 million likes, thank you so much. I wish she got this attention before she left us . :’( R.I.P ♥”, comments like “Amanda Todd what a loser. lol” and “I wanna start a page supporting Amanda todd bullies. If I get at least ten people on board i kick it off. It will have bleach jokes, suicide jokes, and boob pictures, Who riding with me, it will be updated hourly!!! (sic)” are posted.
Equally distressing is the number of scams purporting to collect money for the family. Several websites have been set up to collect donations but police warn money should only be donated directly to the “Amanda Todd Trust” at RBC.
Thankfully, the majority of the comments are respectful and sincere, mourning Amanda, her family’s loss, and supporting them in their grief. In fact, a group of Calgary moms have taken it upon themselves to go after the trolls. They’ve joined an online group tracking down the identity of cyberbullies, identifying them, and in some cases, contacting the parents. In one case, Christine Claveau contacted the employer of Justin Hutchings after he posted a negative comment. Hutchings was subsequently fired from his job.
For those who choose to continue bullying & post negative comments, one poster had this to say:
“You want to bully. Go for it — but the RCMP has set up an account for information on people who continue to bully her and it will be my pleasure to report you.”
Sergeant Peter Thiessen says that although the RCMP is wants to put an end to online bullying, they are working in relatively new territory.
It’s really a matter of those who are involved in it to realize the impact of what they are doing and that they are bordering on criminal acts … If we get that type of evidence then we would be quick to lay a charge. We are looking at what transpired in regards to Amanda, what transpired on social media, what transpired face to face, who may have had contact with her in that regard, and whether there’s evidence to support any sort of criminal charge to any person or persons who may have had an impact in the type of decision Amanda made.
Amanda’s family would like her legacy to be the anti-bullying message of her video. “I think the video should be shared and used as an anti-bullying tool. That is what my daughter would have wanted” said Carol Todd, Amanda’s mother.
In Amanda’s own words: “If you see that someone is being bullied, don’t be afraid to tell the bully to stop doing what they are doing. Make sure to tell them that it’s wrong and that they shouldn’t bully other kids.”
Image source: Paris Match