(Amended with additions)
It’s been a busy week in the ongoing world of Todd.
We have seen the online peculiarity that was Carol’s Huffington Post blog. She wrote an entry that overtly claimed that Gillian Shaw and the rest of the Vancouver Sun crew virtually moved in with her, doing her chores, answering the phone. She also wrote that the Vancouver Sun reporters let her read all the reports and cleared it all with her. She amended the post, then it was taken down completely. Then, after this was criticised as not in keeping with journalistic ethics and standards (you mean they HAVE ethics and standards?), Gillian Shaw and her boss issued a statement that, essentially, said that Carol Todd had it all wrong. Of course, they put it politely, suggesting it was an oversight. I don’t need to be that namby-pamby. What they are saying is that Carol Todd lied.
Then we had the revelatory documentary, which, although I have yet to see it, sounds as if it was as muddled as the rest of the reporting. We found out that Amanda thought her BlogTV escapades were no huge deal; that she wasn’t coerced into doing her shows; she was 14 when it all kicked off (not 12); that she was, incredibly, allowed continual and unsupervised access to the Internet; and that, far from the crazy story of her having been plagued by a ‘predator’ right from the start, it appears to have been a couple of chancers taking advantage of her online existence and stupidity some time after the initial December 2010 events.
There are a couple of things that have surprised me, here. Firstly, it would appear that BlogTV, Omegle and the rest got off lightly. There has been no clamour to clamp down on them, nor to mention the sites like cameracaptures and others who make money from showing videos of girls who are, for the most part, obviously under-age.
Secondly, I have been puzzled by the almost complete non-response to the rather tabloid Fifth Estate programme. There has been hardly a mention of it anywhere, and I can have two guesses for why not. Have we reached Amanda Todd saturation point? Are people sick and tired of seeing her name pinned to nearly every story to do with some youth calamity? Or is it just plain Todd fatigue?
Also, I believe that the Todd camp is in disarray. Many of them held unshakeable beliefs that Amanda Todd was 12 when she was first capped, that in some way she was either dragged kicking and screaming to the webcam, or that she had been cunningly lured and tricked. They saw that none of that was true. Many thought that they would see the innocent Kody Maxson name appear but, of course, it didn’t. And many are shocked by just how much access to the Internet Amanda was allowed, even after the cops came in December 2010. No doubt they will try to re-gather and concoct another myth, but what will it be this time? They are at a loss.
Then we had the ridiculous cyberbullying laws, that were almost instantly dismissed by McGill University as being useless. People in the UK complain that our laws seem to take so long to get through Parliament – reading after reading, debate after debate, then it goes on to the House of Lords. However, I guess we should be grateful. These cyberbullying laws are simply just knee-jerk reactions to populist cravings.
Again, I haven’t yet studied the new laws, but they wouldn’t have helped Amanda in any way. The new laws state that a picture that should be private, or was expected to be private, cannot be distributed. (see below) Amanda broadcast herself on BlogTV (the clue is kind of in the name). Does ‘expected to be private’ extend to regular shows in front of 150 or more viewers? As with my pictures of Tera/Tara Murphy, these weren’t private. They were on a website for all to find, with a ‘welcome fans’ introduction. So the Law will cover neither Amanda nor Tara/Tera.
But I will close with this for today.
Amanda Todd was allowed (with full knowledge and permission from Carol) to drink – against the Law.
Amanda Todd was allowed (with full knowledge and permission from Carol) to take drugs – against the Law.
Amanda Todd was allowed (by Norm and Carol) to have casual sex – against the Law.
By now, people will know where I’m going with this. The Laws won’t stop anything. And neither will parents.
Amendment: It would appear that the type of people this is really aimed at are not protected at all. It’s difficult to comprehend but here goes:
If someone, like Amanda, is under 18 years of age, even if he/she gives consent, that consent is invalid because she is under 18 and thus deemed unable to make that decision. Fair enough, as it protects all vulnerable children. However, those on the receiving end of any picture or videos and choose to view/distribute them are also treated the same – if they are over 18, they are guilty, but if they are under 18, well…..aren’t we back to Square One? The vast majority of Amanda’s viewers were under 18, so basically rendered incapable of making a decision. This law is made with the opinion that Amanda’s ‘tormenters’ a) existed and b) were older males. Farcical.
This will simply lead to the perves, as on cameracaptures, saying ‘I thought she/he was 18’ or the girls pretending to be older, as Amanda did on a couple of her accounts.
In the case of Rehteah Parsons and others, the same applies. She didn’t give her permission, but it will be argued in Courts that the distributors were too young to make valid judgments. This new law just seems to get feebler and feebler.
162.1 (1) Everyone who knowingly publishes, distributes, transmits, sells, makes available or advertises an intimate image of a person knowing that the person depicted in the image did not give their consent to that conduct, or being reckless as to whether or not that person gave their consent to that conduct, is guilty
(a) of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Definition of “intimate image”
(2) In this section, “intimate image” means a visual recording of a person made by any means including a photographic, film or video recording,
(a) in which the person is nude, is exposing his or her genital organs or anal region or her breasts or is engaged in explicit sexual activity;
(b) in respect of which, at the time of the recording, there were circumstances that gave rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy; and
(c) in respect of which the person depicted retains a reasonable expectation of privacy at the time the offence is committed.
So you can see from the above that Amanda would not have been covered by this Law. And think about it – the guys who took photos of Rehteah Parsons would simply say ‘She gave her consent’. A hopelessly inadequate law.