In my previous posts I talk often of my complicated view on technology. I love the possibilities and the connections, but I fear the side effects such as cyber bullying and blackmail. The online world can be a loving community or a horrible depressive leach. When used for good, sharing can be beneficial for yourself and others, but when misused it can spread lies, or be used to cause harm. One example of how sharing information using technology allowed for the harm of another is with the Bill Clinton affair. Monica Lewinsky worked for the president, they had an affair and someone was recording them. Later on, over 20 hours of audio had been recorded and shared with the public. The media was booming with stories, photos and suspicions. During her Ted Talk she discusses what she went through and the effects it had on her life She also explains how the new arrival of more modern technology played a huge factor in her public humiliation.
Monica Lewinsky is a strong woman who has made the best of her situation. Another person who has truly suffered from cyberbullying and public humiliation was Amanda Todd. Amanada and I were quite close in age, so she and I both grew up in the age of technology. Everywhere I looked there was always something new and exciting. I loved using my webcam to chat with people online, but like Amanda, I always found perverted men wanting something more than conversation. I was able to avoid any temptation on that front, I tried to focus more of the safer websites and technologies. Sadly, I also remember her posting a video before she killed herself.
Amanda was a lover of music, singing, dancing and compliments. She started using her camera to record herself singing and dancing, which is where she felt most confident. She later began meeting people online trying to make friends and gain followers. Some of the followers she gained were pedophiles and ‘cappers’ – a new breed of cyber-predators who systematically stalk websites looking for girls on webcams, flatter them into performing sexual acts, then capture their images. One day Amanda had over 100 people watching her on Blogtv and she made the mistake of flashing them her breasts. There was a screenshot done, and at that exact moment her life changed forever. People started sharing these photos on porn sites, and sending them to all Amanda’s Facebook friends, including her mother. This was a very difficult time for her, she became depressed due to the cyberbullying and humiliation at school. She made this video as a cry for help, one that never came.
Here we see that Amanda would never go back to that happy young girl who wanted to sing and dance and see the good in people. She was being blackmailed, and her family tried to fight to keep her safe. The police were aware of the situation but did not take action. She later ended up killing herself because she was no longer able to fight. In this video, we see a more detailed story of Amanda Todd and her mother talks about her side as well.
The mother said she wanted justice, in January of 2014 Aydin C was apprehended in the Netherlands for internet fraud and blackmail. Aydin Coban, 38, was also charged in relation to alleged abuse of 34 other young girls and five gay men. They found him guilty and gave him the maximum possible sentence, calling his behaviour “astonishing.” This goes to show how one person could cause so much harm. Sadly, Carol Todd will never get her daughter back, but justice was found for her. There are many young people who have also suffered due to cyberbullying and were not given that chance. Amanda was loved greatly and will be missed. My hope is that one day people will stop using the internet for bad, and try to help push our young people to be the best version of themselves, and also that the necessary measures are taken to keep them safe. If you or anyone you know if suffering from cyberbullying, make sure the right people are aware and try to show your support so they know they aren’t alone.
Amanda Todd’s accused cyberbully sentenced to 11 years in Dutch prison