On Wednesday night Amanda Todd, a cyberbullied Canadian teen, took her own life. Two days later, a video that she posted to YouTube a month ago telling her sad story is circulating the web. Unfortunately, her cry for help has gone viral two days too late.
In the video, Amanda tells her story on index cards, a style that has become popular thanks to a video called ‘Words DO Hurt’ that was posted by another bullied teen, Alye Pollack, back in March of 2011. In her video, ‘My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm’, Amanda tells the story of how she was targeted by a cyberbully after making the mistake of flashing someone on a video chat site.
Amanda was bullied on Facebook, forced to change schools a number of times and even physically abused, driving her to drugs and alcohol, cutting and several suicide attempts.
On September 7, Amanda uploaded her story to YouTube, writing in the description, “I’m struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I’m not doing this for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make the pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself than someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although I’m sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyone’s future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I?”
You can watch Amanda’s video below. (Note that it features disturbing self harm images at the end.)
Maple Ridge News reports that “Ridge Meadows RCMP confirmed Todd died Wednesday in Coquitlam. Her death is being investigated by Coquitlam RCMP as a ‘sudden death’, as is typical in cases of suicide, and no details have yet been released.”
A spokesperson for Amanda’s school district, Cheryl Quinton, said “We were previously aware of the video and regarding supports…supports were in place for the student.”
Yesterday one YouTuber, CodGameplay, whose sister was one of Amanda’s friends, uploaded the following video, encouraging viewers to share Amanda’s video and story because, he says, “I do not want her to be forgotten and I want her voice to be heard.” The video has been viewed 217,000 times so far. He says, “Anti-bullying starts now, and awareness of suicide also starts right this moment. Together we can start a movement and together we can let the world know how much words can actually hurt.”
I was surprised to see an ad at the beginning of this video and originally it made me pretty angry, but CodGameplay has included the following disclaimer on his video: “I am making not one penny from this video. The ads that are present at this time are all 3rd party claims from music companies trying to profit off of it. I am trying my best to resolve these claims so there will be no ads.”
Unfortunately, Amanda’s story is not the only case of a bullied teen’s YouTube video going viral after suicide. A year ago, 14-year old Jamey Rodemeyer’s ‘It Gets Better, I promise!’ video went viral after he took his own life.
With October being anti-bullying month, I can only hope that Amanda’s story will serve as a wakeup call for teens, helping them to understand that detrimental effect that bullying can have. Amanda’s story shows the transformation of a girl having fun with her friends into a tormented teen who couldn’t escape her past. Hopefully, it will inspire teens to put themselves in her shoes for a moment and really understand what their actions can do.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.