The cyber-bully who is thought to have driven Canadian teenager Amanda Todd to suicide last week has reportedly been exposed by the Internet hacktivist group Anonymous.
Todd, who was 15 years old when her body was found, was endlessly harassed both online and at multiple schools after a man she met online coaxed her into taking topless photos of herself and sending them to him. The man, who is reportedly a 30-year-old individual from the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster, British Columbia, sent the pictures to Todd’s family and classmates.
Anonymous published data on PasteBin.com Monday claiming the man’s name is Kody Maxson. The hacker group also posted the street Maxson lived on with the message “Extorted amanda todd for pictures. This is the pedophile that social engineered Amanda Todd into supplying him nude pictures.”
His online nickname was listed as kody1206, and links to his Facebook profile were posted.
“we generally don’t like to deal with police first hand but were compelled to put our skills to good use protecting kids,” a member of Anonymous said in an email to Canadian news outlet CTV News. “Ironically we have some good people in Vancouver who brought this to our admin’s attention. It’s a very sad story that affects all of us.”
Maxson, the man identified by Anonymous, appeared in a provincial court on Monday, facing charges of sexual assault and sexual interference with a minor -- a different minor. Although that case did not have to do with Todd, the man told CTV that he did know the girl and was friends with her. He claimed that another man is responsible for the attacks on Todd.
“The anonymity of the Web is one of the things that facilitates this sort of harassment, and that anonymity also protects the perpetrators,” Merlyn Horton, founder of the Safe Online Outreach Society, told CTV.
Todd first sent pictures to the man when she was only 12. His exposure and mocking threw her into a downward spiral of depression that led to alcoholism and a serious self-cutting habit. The Edmonton Journal reported that the man Todd met online somehow knew which school she went to, her home address and how to reach her friends and family.
Eventually she tried to kill herself by drinking a cocktail of bleach and other chemicals. When that suicide attempt failed, Todd’s classmates began posting images of bleach and bottles of other cleaners on her Facebook. Others told her she should try again.
In September, Todd posted a moving video online that detailed her inner turmoil. In the silent video, which you can watch below, Todd holds up a series of index cards that describe her torment.