Even suicide has not ended the torment of Amanda Todd, the 15-year-old girl who took her life after three years of relentless cyber-bullying.
Amanda Todd of British Columbia apparently hanged herself on Oct. 10 after a grave mistake followed her for the rest of her brief life. After she exposed her breasts to an anonymous person on a webcam chartroom when she was 12 years old, the person leaked the photo to her friends, family and schoolmates, beginning the nightmare than led to depression, anxiety and several suicide attempts.
Amanda’s story quickly became known after a nearly nine-minute video she uploaded onto YouTube detailing her ordeal was discovered. She uploaded the video in which she reached out for help and that she also wanted used for anti-bullying awareness on Sept. 7, just one month before her death.
Since her story became trending last week, thousands of people reached out to Amanda’s family in condolences, creating several memorial pages on Facebook and leaving comments of support and cyber-bulling awareness.
But not everyone is using Amanda’s story as the anti-bullying tool that she intended.
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Many continue to tease and ridicule her in the very fashion that made her take her own life, leaving disparaging comments on her memorial pages and uploading imagines of bleach bottles captioned “it’s to die for,” a reference to one of her previous suicide attempts.
One online troll uploaded an image of a girl hanging herself onto his own Facebook page with the caption “Todding.” The person who goes by the online handle “Haunter” told the Ottawa Citizen he got “a lot of enjoyment” out of using Amanda’s story in this fashion.
“I enjoy screwing around with people who think they're tough because they threaten physical violence to people who post pictures on Facebook,” he said.
Haunter told the Ottawa Citizen that he has seen his Facebook group jump in views exponentially, from just 400 to almost 20,000 in just a few days. With that he has also received a lot of hate, and also death threats, for which he notes the hypocrisy.
“They fail to see that this is precisely the line of thinking that made Amanda Todd commit suicide,” he said.
Calling his own actions “morbid and tasteless humor,” Haunter says he has not trolled Amanda Todd to spread hate but rather to get a rise out of people. He says he makes light of all situations, no matter how serious, but stops short of any deliberate expressions of hate or violence.
“Violence takes the civility out of everything, and where's the fun in that?”
Meanwhile, police have launched a full investigation on the Amanda Todd case and have received over 400 tips from across the globe relating to her death.
"At this point, we've got upwards of 20 to 25 full-time investigators that are working on this to try to gain enough information and enough evidence to potentially lay charges against any individual or individuals that may have played a role here in some way,” said Sgt. Peter Thiessen of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.