Day 8 – Where do I go now? The photos

Amendment: This post is about the main photos available online. It was still pretty jumbled at this point.

I approach this blog with no real plan of what I’m going to write. If I sat down and actually mapped out the complexities of it all, and how much research I would have to do to properly do the story justice, I would retreat from the immensity of it all. And then, of course, there’s that old enemy – self-doubt. Does anybody really care about Amanda Todd any more? Does anybody really care about the truth of the situation? I’m not sure. It would help if I got some feedback from people who look at this blog.

But I’ve started, so I might as well continue. I will try not to rush to my conclusions – that the whole story is a pack of lies from a troubled child, with a tragic ending OR that it has been almost completely faked in an attempt to protect her, and she is still alive and under supervision. And I will try not to let boredom and frustration take me down the route of sensationalism – the publication of one of her pictures, or the video, though highly illegal now, would at least give me those empty-calorie thrills of watching my stats go through the roof!

Meanwhile, I would like to thank a few supporters. And also, for my one, lonely follower, I will be commenting about your recent post soon. And I will apologise in advance: I think the story might be slightly out of order over the next few days, but I will do my best to get it back on track.

So – Day 8 begins. My first post will take a step back from the chronology, and look at the infamous photos/videos of Amanda Todd.

It is very difficult to draw real conclusions from the photos and the video, as there is no certainty about the dates. But let’s try. Note: I have no idea where I stand legally concerning the photos. The uncensored ones are definitely a no-go area, and I have a feeling that even the heavily censored ones are too risky. I have supplied a link earlier in my blog – but I think that may be also risky.

By now, most people should be familiar with the main Amanda Todd flashing episodes. There’s the video and accompanying photos, which I will call ‘Yellow Top’; the single photo which I will call ‘Green Top’; and the series of photos I will call ‘Black Top’. All these photos can be found by Googling images using ‘Amanda Todd BlogTV’ or ‘Amanda Todd 4Chan’, but remember to switch the image moderation off. I think the video has completely gone underground – anybody showing it on Facebook will not only get banned, but is likely to be contacted by the police. I think the video still exists on certain sites. It did get posted on Facebook early on, but  have a feeling it might have led to the New Zealand arrest:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/7841362/Teen-questioned-over-global-cyber-bullying

Before I begin, I am aware of the fact that, if Amanda was actually online so much, the amount of pictures doesn’t bear this out. It would be possible to draw the conclusion that she only appeared three times over a couple of years. However, it’s odd to assume that her pictures would be captured EVERY time she was online. Also, in conjunction with the Daily Capper Awards, it is unlikely that, given the plethora of teen girls flashing online, Amanda would have achieved notoriety with so few appearances. Why, for instance, would she have been banned from BlogTV? And what about her other online identities on Stickam and Tinychat? Anyway, let’s continue.

CORRECTIONS: The ‘yellow top’ photos are from around late 2010; the ‘green top’ from December 17th 2010; the ‘black top’ at any point in 2011.

The Yellow Top photos. These are confusing, and difficult to place chronologically. Personally, I think they are very early on in the story, at any point in 2009. If they are the source of the photo which was supposedly sent to all her friends, and if they were the precursors to her online fame when she was still in 7th grade and aged 12, then maybe they are from August-September of 2009. However, the BlogTV logo puts me off, as I have estimated her appearances there as being a year later. Could it be that she recorded these pictures earlier, and then released them to BlogTV? I doubt it, as BlogTV seems to be mostly live. But it’s a possibility.

The Yellow Top photos are taken from the video. Anyone who has seen the video will be struck by two things: she wasn’t alone, and she was having fun. The video lasts a couple of minutes. The two girls are basically prancing around their bedroom, behaving in a manner which, rather coyly, I would term as being coquettish. If we see them as being too young to really understand what they are doing – which, to a certain extent is giving them the benefit of the doubt – then we can be more lenient, and just explain it as a piece of childishness foolishness – two kids who have suddenly realised that they have boobs, and these can gain attention. What is important to note, though, is that it is done for fun, for a laugh. It’s just a game – one which was to prove, it seems, quite addictive for Amanda. The two of them strike various poses until, possibly egged on by each other, they flash. It’s over and done with, and in many other cases it would have probably been the end of the story.

Now we move on to the Green Top photo. I have placed this as later in the story, simply because she looks slightly older and more confident. We still see the BlogTV logo. I’m not sure where this takes place, as it looks like there’s a laundry basket in the background, but we can clearly see a microphone set up, so it doesn’t look as if it was a spur of the moment thing. I would place this as being possibly late 2009, but more likely early 2010. I would welcome any thoughts on this, as I am still wondering how long she was on BlogTV for, and whether or not this was placed there later.

Next – the Black Top photos. These are far more serious, and I would place them around September-December 2010 – the time just before the police arrived on her doorstep.

There are actually five black top photos. Currently, I can only find the collage photos, and I cannot find the photos that are accompanied by the extremely damning text. I will endeavour to find these but, for the moment, I will have to go by memory.

The collage is odd. In the top left, Amanda is obviously on webcam, but what are her aims? Is she just chatting? Or is she preparing a show? The photo to the left of it is difficult to work out. She appears to be undressing. But who for? Or what for? It could be that it’s for a boyfriend – relatively innocent – but, with reference to the text in the other set of photos, things look more dubious. The two remaining photos – bottom left and next to it – well, I can’t make out what is going on there. Suffice to say that this is the most common evidence of Amanda going beyond flashing her boobs, and it would be very difficult to try and explain it away as some sort of error.

The other Black Top collage takes three of the four aforementioned photos and adds another – I think it is of her in a pose on her bed. Like I said before, I can’t find the original, so I am working from memory. But what is so strange about this second collage is the accompanying text.

It is a warning to parents – not particularly well-written but, I believe, strongly felt. It warns parents not to allow their kids to follow the same path and it is, almost, one of the  wisest pieces of advice to come out of the story. However, it’s veracity is questionable. Supporters will say it’s just venom and spite, but I have chosen to take it as an indication of the truth. The text accuses her of online masturbation and of going online with a title ‘Flash at 1000 likes’ (I need to find the original!) What makes it credible is this: why would anybody bother to go to the effort of saying it, making a collage, and putting it online? There was already a huge tsunami of hate-filled things being published, and there would be nothing to gain from simply just throwing insults. Whoever wrote it seems motivated by a moral impulse – to prevent kids from repeating mistakes, and to warn parents about letting their offspring have unfettered use of webcams. However, the writer also seems to know a lot more about her online activity than most, and has possibly witnessed it. Therefore, I have taken this to be true.

I will move on now. We are fast approaching the September 2012 video and its aftermath. I think I have shown enough history now. Maybe there are bits missing, but I will try to fill in as much detail as I can later.

Each time, I put out the same plea. Could anyone out there supply me with more insight, more information, or some clarification of the event?

Thank you for reading this.

5 thoughts on “Day 8 – Where do I go now? The photos

  1. Here’s my problem with all of this. If she IS alive(which I highly doubt, but I’m not completely against the idea) don’t you think they DON’T want you to find out? As a mother, if I were to hide my child because some stalker was making her life hell, I wouldn’t want you trying to find out if she was alive. What if this guy finds your blog if you do find out? It opens doors for him again. I’m just saying, be very careful of where you tread here. By looking for information, you could be opening up doors your conscience isn’t ready to handle.

  2. Firstly, if it’s not clear now, it soon will be – I don’t believe there was a stalker as defined in the media. The reason for me thinking that will be explained soon. But please – stop to think. If Amanda and her mom WERE bothered about some sinister predator lurking out in the cyberworld, why did they think it wise to go BACK online, advertising Amanda’s presence with her famous video and a cover of a pop song. Why publicise yourself so much if being online was the source of so much anguish? Wouldn’t this mythical stalker think it was a gift for him? No. If you have suffered so much from online problems you LIE LOW. Simple as that. If you’ve been on the receiving end of so much online hatred (from her peers as well) no-one in their right mind would allow their daughter to parade on YouTube AGAIN. It would be totally irresponsible. Which leads me to think that the authorities have stepped in to protect her. But all that will be explained in the blog. If she is under supervision, it isn’t to avoid a stalker – it’s to stop her exposing herself to the ongoing online problems. She was confident enough to go naked online, to sing, whatever, but mentally she wasn’t able to cope with the consequences. She knew she had haters; she was well aware that she was (in my opinion) one of the most hated ordinary people I have encountered; but she KEPT ON showing off and attention-seeking, then going bonkers when people reacted adversely. Someone had to step in to stop the vicious cycle – her parents certainly weren’t capable of it. As far as the imaginary stalker thinking she’s alive – that’s irrelevant. Even if he traced her now, he’s easily dealt with. His biggest imaginary crime is to stalk her online and take a photo. Response? Don’t supply photos and block him each time he makes contact. A simple answer. He’s not a physical threat – he’s just a guy online. He no longer has any power – the story is over. ‘I’ll show pictures of you’ is an empty threat – half the world has seen her in all her glory. If she had simply just closed the book on him – blocked him from Facebook, been more private, ignored him, told the police, or whatever, IT IS SO EASY to stay clear of online pests. She could even reply ‘I don’t care’. So – end this stalker story nonsense.

    • I get this, I totally do, and you’re absolutely right, to a point. Sometimes you can’t just not care. It’s really hard, especially when you’re 12. No one deserves to get beat up, humiliated and stalked. Especially when you’re that young. It’s her parents fault though, not hers. They should have taught her better, raised her right and this wouldn’t have happened. But that doesn’t mean she deserves to get even more crap if she is alive. Sad part is though, if she IS alive, she will be labeled a lying whore and everyone will forget the sadness they had for her. It’s how society is twisted.

      But as a mom of two daughters, I can’t help but feel pity and worry about the fact that that stalker might STILL be out there, and he might make her life more hell. That’s not nonsense, that’s having a heart.

      • Please bear with me. The story will become clearer. Regarding her getting beat up – we don’t know the full story, only hers. But it’s not an uncommon occurrence, and you conveniently leave out the under-age sex bit – if people disliked her, it was for a reason. Was she really humiliated? Again, I will reach that later in the blog. I 100% agree with your views on the parenting, and that, also, will be discussed. Getting back to the stalker – I repeat: if she was so petrified by a stalker, why did she go back online with her parents help. And how does he make her life Hell? Just what is there left for him to do? Like I said, there’s no physical threat. The threat to expose her pictures is now invalid. No. Her video exposed her to even more trouble, and she and her parents should have known that. Before the video, only a small number (100s?) of people knew about her. But she drew even more attention to herself. In the story, every facet of Amanda’s problems have come via the Internet – so why keep on and on self-publicising? Now – you talk of having a heart. I will publish a picture just for you today. What, perhaps, you don’t realise is that this story has encouraged thoughts and acts of suicide amongst teens. By making Amanda into a saint and an inspiration, hundreds of young girls run the risk of following her lead. The story glorifies her suicide, it doesn’t warn against it. Like I said – be patient. More will follow.

      • For some girls that I know, it made them reconsider the idea. It made them stop and think for a second. Yes, you’re right, the idea of copy cats is there. I won’t tell you you’re wrong, and I won’t tell you that she was wrong for doing what she did, because she was. I left out the underage sex bit because frankly I didn’t see it needing to be discussed. Look, I’m not disagreeing with you at all. I think this girl was an attention seeking troubled child who went about it all the wrong way, and her parents should have stepped in on numerous occasions. What I’m saying here, is as a mom and a parent, I kind of wonder what will happen if this story IS revealed to be true and you aren’t lying? I just hope that for their sake and yours, that it’s nothing negative. That’s all.

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