When I first started this blog some years ago, the whole Amanda Todd story was a confusing mass of speculation. To be honest, it still is, especially after the Aydin Coban stuff.
It was clear that the story that has become accepted – that Amanda was tricked into one instance of flashing and so on – was almost completely untrue and that there was far more to it.
It was a personal quest for me, really. I felt that the Amanda Todd story was the perfect example of so many problems facing teens, and that the only way for anyone to learn from it was to know the truth, and that they types of problems facing Amanda – such as the use of social media by naive young girls and the existence of exploitative websites – should be brought out into the open and discussed.
I wanted to draw attention to certain things that were not covered by the media and ask a few questions, of which these are just a few:
1. Is it not important to look at the problems of Amanda’s drinking and drug taking?
2. Whilst acknowledging the existence of predators, is it not important to investigate the fact that many young people are, from a very young age, exposing themselves online for fun and putting themselves in danger?
3. Surely it’s important to study the underlying factors – such as parental dysfunction, the sexualisation of children – that all contributed to the tragedy?
4. Was it really wise to set Amanda Todd up as a role model? Did that encourage copycat activity?
5. Should governments seek to control chatrooms and video websites much more?
The subheading of this blog puts it all more succinctly.
Unfortunately, it appears that nobody wanted to engage with any discussions about what really happened. People don’t really want to think that young girls might be exhibitionists, or that young girls might be sexually active, or bullies, or drug users. They want to maintain a fairy-tale view of life.
I came across the Amanda Todd video purely by chance. Like most people, I was struck by its poignancy. However, after seeking further news, I became firstly confused by all the criticism of her, and then became more perplexed by all the inconsistencies in the story. She talks of ‘one photo’, yet several videos of her were being published; she talks of being tricked by one lone man, then we find her flashing in chatrooms with more than 150 viewers; the cops arrive in December 2010, but we find the public complaining to the authorities in October/November 2011.
I decided to properly research, and soon found out that almost the entire Amanda Todd story, as told by her and then her mother, is essentially a pack of lies. Extraordinary.
I began this blog as a sort of online conversation with myself, as I could not quite understand how or why this myth remained so strong. Part of me wanted to believe that Amanda was an innocent led astray, or that her parents had done everything they could to protect her, but the story went further and further away from that premise.
Throughout the blog you will find references to Megan Meier, Hannah Smith, Daniel Perry and others. The main aim of this blog became not one of finding the Amanda Todd true story, but one of trying to get people to realise that there are far more problems concerning children’s online behaviour than just cyberbullying. Unfortunately, I think that only a very few readers are here to try to understand that – the vast majority are looking for salacious gossip.
Unfortunately, the blog became a mess. It still remains the only source of information that cannot be found elsewhere, and is the closest to being the true story. I have considered tidying it up, but to be honest it’s not worth the effort. Not that many people are interested enough any more.
Note: at one point I did consider that the final tragic end of Amanda may have been a lie. This was because I simply couldn’t believe that such a vulnerable child wasn’t put under close supervision, and that perhaps the only solution would have been to give her a new identity. This conspiracy theory sort of opinion weakened my portrayal of the story, but I have left it in as it remains part of the history of the blog.
The amount of conflicting information surrounding the Todd story is enormous. Though the ‘one photo’ legend still persists, most people now acknowledge that there was more to it. The most difficult part now revolves around Aydin Coban, and I really have no clue about how true that all is. It’s too much to explain here, so I guess you’ll have to read the blog posts.
For more information, see the Guide.