Sextortion of Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd was a household name after it was too late for anyone to help her.   The Fifth Estate’s documentary “The Sextortion of Amanda Todd” was very informative for me.  I heard her story from online posts and little tidbits from the news stories around the time following her suicide.  Stories like this are hard for me to watch, but I think they are also very important for me to watch.  Amanda started really creating her digital identity when she was 9 years old.

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My daughter is 10.  Watching all of the hardships that Amanda went through before taking her own life is really heart wrenching.  She was just a kid.  Younger than my son.  It is sad that all it took was one wrong decision online for her whole life to be turned upside down and essentially ruined.  And all it takes for girls to make these decisions is for men to lay the flattery on thick.  Friends of Amanda’s say it works because it is “positive attention for people that don’t get that attention offline”.  And they also say that you “can edit yourself online”.  You can virtually be whoever you want to be.  I also made connections between this statement and the description of the Kingston serial stalker.  He was a 21 year old baby faced young man and offline seemed small and harmless (aside from assaulting Alley).  They said he seemed shy and mumbled, but online he was a powerful serial stalker.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 10.29.45 AM.pngDoesn’t look like the typical evil villain.

Amanda’s mom went to the police numerous times and felt like they were not taking it seriously, that’s scary.  It is true that if you were to call the police with information on a shady person at a park, there would be public notifications and the police would be taking immediate action.  The fact that they made the comment about her taking steps to protect herself seems wrong.  That’s why we put our trust into them.

This was also the first time I’ve heard the term cappers.  I also found the comment from the police officer in Ontario explaining that there is a new breed of predator out there unnerving. I feel an urgent need now to explain this concept and Amanda Todd’s story to my daughter.  She has been asking forever for her own computer and we are still in negotiations…

This was a sad story and maybe if Amanda Todd had people, or teachers in her life that could explain digital citizenship and the difference between a positive and negative digital identity this tragedy could have been prevented.  I think this is one of the main aspects I will take from this class.  I am learning online and interweaving technology into my presentations and lesson plans and having a great time learning and doing this.  Regardless, this is something I am excited to be taking from this class.  The importance of teaching kids that once they put it online, it’s there forever and how this can affect your life.  Helping them to make the right decisions and prevent scandals like this.

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I know that this is an ECMP class and the reason for watching this video and review it was not to have us think that we should stay away from the internet and not put ourselves out there.  There is a positive and negative way to do that.  Katia explains that if you bombard the internet with positive digital representations of yourself, it will be hard to find the negative, if there is any.

I want to add this story to this blog post because it does show a way the putting yourself out there in a positive light can make a positive impact and help you get to where you want in your life.  My family and I are from a very small town in Nova Scotia.  We have a friend, from the same small town, who is reaching her dreams by having herself all over the internet and media.  Katie Kelly is a hardworking internet sweetheart.  She is creating really hilarious Youtube videos with Kristen and has her own online TV show, Pop Culture.

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Katie works for the Bounce radio station and spends parts of each Wednesday on CTV news teaching viewers DIY  tips.  She has also recently been subbing for the regular hosts when needed.  From our small town this is an amazing accomplishment and I am sure Katie is not finished yet.  If you google her name you will find tons of videos and info.  She is a great example of positive digital citizenship.

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

So I know that there are benefits to digital citizenship.  I am just not sure I am ready for my daughter to create hers alone.  For now I think I will just have her out there as an add on to mine.  We have talked about her creating her own channel for crafts and stuff, but it still scares me.  I will obviously teach her all I know about going about this the right way and things that she should be very careful of.  Does anyone have an opinion on the age that you think would be appropriate for children to start their personal digital identity?

 

 

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Filed under ECMP 355, Uncategorized

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