Amanda Michelle Todd (died October 10, 2012) was a 15-year-old Canadian teenager who committed suicide attributed to cyber-bullying through the social networking website Facebook. On 7 September 2012, Todd posted a video on YouTube in which she used a series of flash cards to tell of her experience of being blackmailed, bullied, and physically assaulted. In it she mentions sending an image of her breasts to a man who later circulated it around the internet.
Shortly before 6:00 pm on October 10, 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were called to her home in Port Coquitlam, to investigate what they refer to as a "sudden death". They have since launched a full investigation into Todd's death. Police are conducting interviews, reviewing content at social media sites, and are actively monitoring pages.
Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia, made an online statement of condolence suggesting a national discussion be made discussing criminalizing cyber-bullying.
Todd was a 10th-grade student at CABE Secondary in Coquitlam.
Background and suicide
On 7 September 2012, Todd posted a 9-minute YouTube video entitled My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self harm, in which she used a series of flash cards to tell of her experience of being bullied. The video post went viral, receiving over 1,600,000 views by 13 October 2012, with online newspapers around the world linking to it.
During the video Todd says that, during seventh grade, she used video chat to meet new people over the internet, where she received compliments on her looks. A stranger convinced Todd to bare her breasts on camera. The individual later blackmailed her with threats to expose the topless photo to her friends unless she gave a "show".
Todd says that police informed her, during the next Christmas break, that the photo was circulating the internet. The news caused her to experience anxiety, major depression and panic disorder. Her family moved home, but she began to take drugs and alcohol. Her anxiety worsened and she couldn't leave the house.
A year later the individual reappeared, creating a Facebook profile with the topless photograph as the profile image. Again Todd was teased, and eventually changed school for a second time. Happier, she says she began chatting to "an old guy friend" who appeared to like her. The friend asked Todd to come to his house, where they had sex, whilst his girlfriend was on holiday. The following week the girlfriend and a group of others attacked Todd at school; shouting insults and punching her to the ground. Following the incident Todd attempted suicide by drinking bleach, but was rushed to hospital to have her stomach pumped.
After returning home Todd discovered abusive messages about the incident posted to Facebook. Her family moved to another city to start afresh, but Todd was unable to escape the past. Six months later further messages and abuse were still being posted to social networking sites. She began cutting herself and her anxiety was getting worse. Despite taking anti-depressants and receiving counselling, she took an overdose and spent two days in hospital.
On October 10 at about 6:00 PM local time, Todd was found dead at her home.