Canadian teenager Amanda Todd took her own life last week after suffering a campaign of online bullying. She posted a video on YouTube in September explaining that she had been pressured into baring her breasts to someone, who then sent the picture to her friends.
The online activist group “Anonymous” is claiming to have outed the 15 year-old’s stalker. It has published the name of a Vancouver-based man, saying he is likely to have driven Amanda to suicide.
Meanwhile, the girl’s family are encouraging people to watch her video to help raise awareness of cyber bullying and the effect it can have on victims.
Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark supports the idea. “The one good thing that is going to come out of this is her Mum has said ‘share the video, let kids see what it’s like to be victimised”, she said.
But UBC Education Professor Shelley Hymel warns of the risks of glamorising suicide. “If it’s done badly, here’s the thing that tells kids how to get popular in death if not in life. If it’s done well, as the Mum might hope, it couple help provide a deeper understanding of others”, she said.
A police investigation is underway into the circumstances that led Amanda to end her young life.