Calgary women join forces against cyberbullies
WARNING: This story contains strong language
Hundreds of Calgary women have joined together in an online fight against cyberbullying.
The campaign started with a Facebook group on Saturday after a few women took exception to some extremely negative posts on Amanda Todd memorial pages. The 15-year-old B.C. teen posted a now viral video on YouTube explaining years of torment at the hands of bullies. Todd’s suicide a week after the video was posted sparked a firestorm of international attention.
Cofounder Melissa Buck said members of the group are reporting offensive content to Facebook with requests to have the posts taken down.
"Kind of how we worded it was, build a crusade to go after these people that are bullying. Not bullying them, but letting Facebook know that bullying is going on," said Buck.
The group started after one comment prompted Buck to take action.
"I emailed someone's parent and said your daughter is posting that 'Amanda Todd deserved to die' and I don't know if you know what your daughter's doing," said Buck.
"The mom emailed me back, ‘thank you so much, I need to go have a talk with my daughter.’"
Christine Claveau, an Airdrie, Alta., member of the new group, saw a post that read: "It's about time this bitch died."
Claveau tracked down the commenter's employer and sent them an email about the post. Retail store Mr. Big and Tall then fired the man.
In an interview with the Toronto Star on Tuesday, Justin Hutchings said that he was just trying to get a reaction, but that he feels bad for the family.
"Yes, there is a little bit of regret and remorse," Hutchings told the Star. "I’m sorry if I offended anybody and that it wasn’t portrayed in the way it was supposed to be."
Lindsay Ulsifer was also a founding member in the group. She said they want people to be accountable for what they put on the internet.
"Our goal isn't to have everyone fired from their job, our goal is to bring attention that what you're doing is hurtful. It is wrong. You need to stop."
The group "We Are Against Bullying" encourages people to report offensive posts and pages on Facebook.
Ulsifer said they've managed to get 10 pages taken down, as well as many offensive posts and pictures.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the group has more than 800 members.