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:
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.