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Amanda Todd, sextortion and cyberbullying

Categories: Canada, Community

amanda todd-584.jpg
B.C. teen Amanda Todd, pictured, committed suicide about one year ago. (CP photo)

A year after her death, most people remember Amanda Todd as the 15-year-old B.C. girl who committed suicide after posting a YouTube video describing her torment by bullies in a series of flash cards.

But CBC's the fifth estate reveals a more complex and disturbing story about what happened to her -- not just cyberbullying, but deliberate blackmail and sexual extortion by online predators.

Host Mark Kelley goes deep into Amanda's world, with never-before-seen videos and web chats from two personal laptops that her family shared with the fifth estate, to reveal an untold story of sextortion.

It's a story that could happen to almost any teenager on the internet. A new breed of cyber-predators capture girls' images, then use them to humiliate or even blackmail and extort their victims, in a fast-growing online crime that goes far beyond Amanda Todd.

What is sextortion, and how is it distinct from cyberbullying? How is online crime changing? What can you do to stay safe on the internet?

Live Online host Lauren O'Neil discussed these and other issues with our special guests. Watch the replay below.


  • Stephanie Morgan, a Kingston police detective constable and member of the OPP's Integrated Child Exploitation Unit. She was part of the investigation and arrest of Mark Bedford, who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 on charges including extortion, in what authorities called one of the largest child porn cases ever prosecuted in Canada.

  • Noni Classen, education director for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a non-profit aimed at reducing child victimization by providing programs and services to Canadians. The centre created NeedHelpNow.ca, a site aimed at helping youth affected by a sexual photo or video being shared by their peers, as well as cybertip.ca, Canada's tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children.


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the fifth estate's The Sextortion of Amanda Todd airs Friday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET.

Tags: Canada, Community

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