The Mercilessness of Digital Media

For Al Jazeera, I wrote about the suicide of Amanda Todd, a teenager who was bullied and stalked online before committing suicide last week:

Digital memory spares no mercy. For teenagers like Amanda Todd, one regrettable decision can transform one’s life – or end it. The combination of digital media that can be cached and copied and monopoly platforms like Facebook that confine diverse social contacts into a single space has made self-reinvention almost impossible. It would be wrong to say that “the internet” killed Amanda Todd. But she died battling a version of herself that she sought desperately to escape. Her online identity was determined by others, without accountability, without remorse.

The bullying of Amanda Todd shows how online and offline behaviour are interwoven, how face-to-face cruelty slips into online performance. On the internet, the victim’s own memory of events is not the one that endures. Instead, the story is written by the tormentors, their ownership of the narrative itself a form of torment.

Read the full article here.

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One Response to The Mercilessness of Digital Media

  1. Robert E. Bahruth, Ph.D. says:

    Mourning Loss Past, and Yet to Come.
    R. E. Bahruth 12/15/12

    Who knows what brooding young man
    Is waiting in the offing
    To wreak havoc upon some
    Not so innocent community
    Duped into the scam
    To dope young boys with poison
    For their nature to not sit still,
    Bored in school, professionally abused,
    Fermenting a confused anger
    Through years of tears and anguish?
    We all shall pay for our ignorance.
    For our complicity through silence,
    For our failure to protect tender young souls
    From legal pushers who profit
    From unquestioned policies
    In otherwise, drug-free school zones.

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