Webcam of Lies (2019)
A young girl...
She was just beautiful inside and out.
...With big ambitions...
She wanted to be a famous singer.
You'll have your own seat on my private jet.
...Gets embroiled in the dark side of the web.
Amanda's father and I didn't know what she was doing online. he wanted her to flash him...
Which started the downward spiral.
I have this 14-year-old child freaking out.
Mom! Online torment leads to real-life blows.
Nobody likes you.
Something just broke her.
Driven to the edge...
There was no escaping.
...With devastating consequences. no! No!
What I saw, it's horrific.
hi, my name's amanda, and I always like to sing "o canada" before I sing any song.
my name is carol todd, and I am the mother of amanda todd.
I worried about amanda from the time that she could walk and talk.
She had attention deficit disorder, which made her feel bad about herself, and she wanted to be liked or loved.
Amanda found her voice for singing when she was really little, and she would sing everywhere.
She could never remember her multiplication facts or dates for social studies, but she could remember all the words to songs.
She wanted to be a famous singer.
It was her passion.
My name's avery cantello, and I went to school with amanda.
We became friends.
She really loved to sing, I loved to sing.
We definitely bonded over music.
Amanda's father and I split up in 2008.
We had differences in parenting rules.
Amanda didn't like my technology rules, so she decided that she would feel more comfortable living with her father.
I think she gets her personality naturally from a combination of both her mom and dad.
Being around amanda was like watching a fireball roll down the street.
I hope you enjoyed it.
Amanda todd is like any other seventh-grader.
She loves watching young singers like herself on youtube, hoping to make it big just like her favorite pop star.
She chose justin bieber as her idol.
Justin had youtube videos out, and that's how he was found, and that was her dream -- posting videos on youtube so others could see her. hey, kiddo. Hey.
So, I was thinking you can use my webcam if you want.
Her father had a webcam.
Don't worry about mom. I'll talk to her.
I didn't think that a young person needed a webcam.
Mom's gonna be pissed.
So when amanda moved in with her dad, there was a webcam available for her use.
Dad gave me his old webcam.
Yeah, I can finally post videos and share them online like justin now.
She was pretty. Girls got jealous.
What about the mean kids at school? mom, can we talk about this later?
Yeah. Hi, carol.
No, what does that matter?
The last thing she needs, norm, is for them to make fun of her again.
And that's why she's going to make the videos perfect.
Raising a child that was as spirited as amanda, there were often clashes in what was the right thing to do with her.
Amanda spends the weekend recording and uploading videos, sharing them with close friends.
by the time she returns to school, the videos have gone viral among the students, and everyone has heard amanda sing.
Amanda sang a lot of songs all about staying strong, being in your power.
You are so gonna be famous.
You'll have your own seat on my private jet. her voice was really beautiful.
Did you see her in that dumb video?
I thought she was being strangled.
she posted a lot of singing videos, and some she, unfortunately, took down because the comments underneath.
Like, she was being bullied online for posting that stuff.
don't listen to them.
They're just jealous.
Seriously, you have an amazing voice.
I guess a lot of people don't agree.
You should do a video for blogtv.
They have so many talented people like you.
Blogtv is a new online craze where anyone can broadcast...
Chat, perform, and share live from anywhere in the world.
I had no idea that something called blogtv existed.
Amanda's screen name, cutiielover, was just a cute name.
It had nothing to do with sex.
We probably all had a name like that.
You don't really know what you're doing at that age -- what's right or wrong, or how to be properly cautious in that space.
You're just starting to be interested in guys.
Amanda takes a deep breath and begins her first song on blogtv, belting it out like it is the performance of a lifetime.
blogtv was giving her a lot of positive attention.
Soon, amanda has a number-one fan who showers her with praise and insider knowledge of the music industry. amanda loved attention.
All kids want the attention -- the likes, the follows, the pings. it was all part of that generation.
I knew she was online, but amanda's father and I didn't know at the time what she was doing online. hey, stranger!
I made your favorite for dinner. we believed that she was online talking to kids her own age.
No one was completely aware of all the dangers.
No one was really thinking too much about who was behind these accounts. you're so young, and you're thinking, "this cute guy has added me," or "this cute girl has added me." she didn't realize the effects of how she looked on boys.
I thought I told you to go to bed.
Sorry. Amanda, no more laptop.
Come on. Put it away. come on.
Those keys are already worn down enough.
If I had known how it was gonna end, what would I have done differently with the webcam?
I would've... Thrown it away.
Amanda and her laptop are attached at the hip.
She spends every minute plugged into blogtv, with multiple conversations lasting into the night.
On blogtv, this guy was complimenting her, making her feel really good.
Eventually he asked for more, and he wanted her to flash him.
amanda thought it was probably private and this guy was the only person seeing her, so she felt safe in that cyberspace.
at that age, I think everybody's parents are warning you not to do that kind of stuff -- flashing people or sending somewhat promiscuous photos.
Amanda continues to enjoy blogtv over the next few months.
Life carries on as normal until a year later.
amanda receives a facebook friend request from a canadian teenager called tyler boo.
She befriends him, but it is not the kind of conversation amanda is expecting.
Tyler boo asked amanda to give him a show or he would spread the photo everywhere.
no one actually thinks, if you do that, it's gonna come back to you.
She made the really big mistake of flashing this stranger, which basically started the downward spiral.
Amanda expects the whole situation will blow over.
A few weeks later, amanda was with her father, sick with the flu, so she wasn't on her technology.
Amanda's phone blows up with messages from friends.
Are you okay, amanda?
Yeah, I just -- I need to do something.
After amanda's friends tip her off to the photo, cyber bullies step in with vicious insults.
Something came through, and it was a link saying there was pictures of amanda flashing and he was going to show everybody.
Once amanda clicks the link, it sends her to an adult site showing the screen grab of her flashing her body.
no. she was in shock, and she was in tears.
I got a message within facebook from an alice mcallister...
Alice mcallister says she works for an internet safety site.
...Telling me that my daughter was doing terrible things on the internet, exposing herself...
Amanda on an adult site?
...And that I needed to stop her.
She's being blackmailed by a boy.
I didn't know who this person was.
And it was a link.
It led me to a pornography site, and with a picture of my daughter lifting up her shirt.
The individual was going to show everybody.
It shocked me, it hurt me, and then I needed to know that my daughter was okay.
I call amanda.
Norm, is amanda there?
Amanda, your mother would like to speak with you.
I tried to talk to amanda.
She was very shut down.
Baby, you won't believe what I've just been sent on facebook.
Whether it was embarrassment...
I wanted to talk to you first before involving dad.
...Or whether it was fear of being caught, I don't know.
But the internet threats are just the tip of the iceberg.
Mr. Todd? Yes?
The police are here now.
Police? My god, amanda.
Amanda, what's going on?
With the photo now publicly online, the police have been tipped off about it.
I couldn't jump to the conclusion that amanda was a willing participant...
They want us at the station.
...Or that she was coerced and threatened into it.
Someone has taken topless photos of your daughter and shared them to an adult site.
Are you for real? She's only 14.
Amanda, is this true?
Amanda -- she admitted that she had lifted up her shirt in a chat room, but she hadn't realized that other people had taken photos.
Who did this, amanda?
She wouldn't say anything, and she sat there with sort of a chip on her shoulder, with an attitude.
Amanda, who did this?
He follows me on facebook.
He threatened to share the photo unless I put on a show, but I didn't.
Okay. This kind of blackmailing is becoming more common on the internet. have you heard of cappers tv?
My name's dan fumano.
I'm a reporter here in vancouver, canada.
Cappers tv was started by a subculture on the internet called cappers.
The cappers will take caps, or screen captures, of young girls in maybe various stages of undress and try to use those to blackmail them or to get them to do things of a sexual nature.
They had a fake awards show making light of this online abuse, like "the blackmailer of the year."
For the first time, amanda's parents see how people have been treating their daughter online.
That's when mom kicked into action.
You must get these people.
Well, it's not that simple.
They use all kinds of addresses and all kinds of ways to avoid detection.
The police, all they had at the time was facebook, the link, but because the link was embedded into facebook, it's not facebook's responsibility.
The best thing is to stay off the net.
The police's advice was to stay off social media.
But my whole life is on the web.
Then the person will stop.
Carol is determined to strictly limit amanda's time spent online.
Come on, sweetie. Delete the account.
How am I supposed to know what's going on?
Amanda eventually got off the internet, which we kept her off thinking that tyler boo would go away.
there. Well done.
I can't go to school.
Amanda was anxious about the reaction of other kids.
It was christmas, thought it would die down.
amanda, are you okay?
We haven't heard from you all christmas break.
And then the whole photo thing -- tyler boo, he's evil.
Amanda's bullies are less caring.
Hey, porn star.
Hey, amanda. Hey, guess who?
Probably almost the whole student body had seen that photo.
Slut. Porn star.
Mean girls targeted her...
...Just made really mean, physical appearance comments, really personal. amanda, don't listen to them. mom? Hey, honey.
Mom, everyone knows. They're making fun of me.
Please, please come pick me up.
I can't go in. I just can't.
Amanda's mom arranges for her to change school mid-semester.
When amanda went to her new school, she was anxious about her decision.
One day at a time, baby.
She was dealing with people knowing that this image was out there.
And moving schools mid-year isn't always the best choice for a young person, especially a young person who is going through traumatic distresses.
hey, is that the new girl?
Trying not to be laughed at, be snickered at, be talked about.
She was too shy, really quiet, just kind of keeping to herself.
I specifically remember going and sitting across from her and asking if I could sit there, and we just kind of chatted a little bit.
I was just trying to be a friend.
I just remember the rumors.
We didn't really talk about any of the really sensitive stuff that day.
I think she started to feel better.
Avery and amanda become fast friends.
She really loved to sing. I loved to sing.
I started my youtube channel, and then she started her youtube channel, as well, and I was the first person she followed.
She was in a better place.
She was making connections with some kids.
Amanda wanted to have a normal life, and part of having that normal life was being on social media.
I'm not allowed facebook.
You know that, stacy.
Feeling estranged from her new friends, amanda struggles to stay off facebook.
Amanda went off technology for two months, and then she slowly emerged back into it.
Even though the police had told amanda it was definitely a better idea to stay off social media, I totally don't blame her for wanting to stay on social media. amanda, what are you up to?
I, - nothing.
Are you on facebook again?
I'm sorry. I just can't help it.
Log out right now.
I thought that was a great idea to keep amanda off the internet.
Can't I just talk to my real friends from school?
But you have to pick your battles.
Okay, just your real friends.
She got a couple hours of technology time, with rules -- can't start going into chat rooms.
You can't send pictures.
You just need to talk to people that you know for real.
You need to create another profile, and you need to delete names of people that you don't know.
Amanda's life is in a good place at her new school, and the cyberbullying has trailed off.
As her confidence builds, she spends more time online.
And soon a new user wants to connect, 14-year-old austin collins, who says he's about to start at amanda's new school.
She accepts the friend request.
Amanda told me about some names on facebook.
One of them had the name austin.
I wasn't happy.
I think it's almost an impossible job for parents to completely monitor what your kids are doing all the time on social media.
Amanda and austin continue to exchange messages until one day, he makes a disturbing announcement.
He's not the friend she thought he was.
no, no, no, no, no. Mom!
Her predator made a facebook profile of amanda.
It had her picture with her bare chest as the profile image.
I have this 14-year-old child freaking out...
...Because he was now sending it out to everyone else at her new school.
What is it, honey? Mom, it's tyler boo.
He's back. He's back.
The internet has no boundaries...
...So there was no escaping.
The online tormentor amanda todd thought she'd escaped...
I don't know.
How do you report this to facebook?
I don't know!
Amanda, delete your account. Now!
Okay! We're reporting this.
amanda's mom immediately contacts the police, who move quickly to find out anything they can about the online bully.
An I.P. Address had been tracked into the united states.
There wasn't the manpower to track this one case.
Can no one protect my daughter? You? No one?
Is that it?
It made me angry. Why?
It's was bull****
Amanda finds it difficult to say goodbye to the online world.
She continued to find ways to use technology somehow.
I think a lot of kids around amanda's age are pretty hooked on social media as this place that was both really rewarding for her...
...But then also the source of this great torment.
It's like a spider web.
The whole new bullying, cyberbullying crisis started again for amanda at her new school.
I tried to reach out to her, and I wish that I could've done more.
Mental health doesn't need a whole lot to trigger it.
When you have someone who is socially isolated and you want to take away their technology, that's a clear way to make them decline even faster.
I definitely saw her social anxiety kind of progress.
She didn't realize that she was a beautiful young lady.
All she was focused on were people when they told her she was ugly and that her hair was horrible, that her nose was too big, and that's what she perceived herself that she looked like. me as a mother, it hurt.
While her online tormentor seems to have disappeared, amanda still struggles to get on with her life.
everything okay, honey?
How was school today?
We were arguing a lot more.
It was not a peaceful home situation.
People will forget, honey.
We just need to ride it out.
You mean me ride it out.
Despite everything, amanda still turns to the online world to try to feel better, when she gets another friend request from a boy who was dating a girl from her old school.
This guy was flirtatious with amanda, giving her a lot of positive, complimentary attention.
amanda liked boys, and we have hormones working there, right?
Amanda was definitely into him and the attention he was giving her.
Yeah, she's home, in her room.
A little improvement, maybe.
Maybe a big improvement.
I haven't heard that in a while.
All of a sudden, it was all good.
It was all good. Amanda was happy.
Bye, mom. I'm going to see a friend.
I'll call you back.
It makes me happy.
Sarah from the new school.
Well, that's great, honey.
Don't be late. I won't be.
I didn't know who this person was.
hey! How's it going?
I'm glad you came. Come on in.
Yeah, thanks for inviting me.
Yeah, of course.
How come you're being so nice to me?
Kayleigh hates me.
I don't care what kayleigh thinks.
We're breaking up anyway.
Besides, I feel bad for you.
You know, you're a nice girl.
You don't deserve all this stuff that's happening to you.
Amanda basically said that this guy made her feel special, made her feel beautiful.
this guy kind of manipulated her and fed off of the fact that amanda was insecure at the time so he could sleep with her.
I don't even know how his girlfriend found out.
don't walk away from me.
I know what you did.
You slept with my boyfriend, you slut!
These girls showed up with the intent of beating up amanda.
Amanda always told me that she covered for him.
Take a look around.
Nobody likes you.
Kayleigh, it was just a mistake. I'm so sorry.
I'm so sorry.
amanda was being punched and kicked. punching her and wouldn't let her up. kayleigh, stop! it was almost entertainment for these young people.
go near aaron again, you're dead.
No one called for help, and no one was there to help amanda.
It was heartbreaking.
She wasn't answering me.
She just didn't want to talk to anybody.
After the assault, people started posting, "amanda should kill herself" and how she was useless, and she was a whore.
What was happening was someone else was capturing these comments and sending them to amanda to read.
why did she decide to try and take her life?
I don't know.
Are you okay? amanda!
15-year-old amanda todd has just made an attempt on her own life...
Amanda, honey? Honey, are you okay, honey?
...After suffering physical and verbal attacks from bullies at her school and online.
Her father called me, said, "amanda says she just drank bleach."
if you drink bleach you got to think, "she wants attention, or she really wants to harm herself."
My poor baby.
I knew in my heart as a parent that I needed to get her into some help.
She's coming to live with me now.
Despite amanda's horrific situation at school, her online tormentors keep up their war of words.
She was in her room during the summer.
She became very isolated.
We did about 3 months of counseling together.
Amanda didn't hear from tyler boo.
that's a funny alert tone.
It's for unknown numbers.
It'll be something bad, so I won't even look at it.
We were too busy dealing with the real bullies in life.
There were a lot of bleach memes about amanda.
They called it todding.
These people who bullied her were the ones who were posting them.
Amanda may be offline, but that doesn't stop her bullies from screenshotting the online attacks and texting them to her.
They said things like, "amanda shouldn't be taking up airspace."
"she shouldn't be breathing." "she shouldn't be alive."
it was just a vendetta against my daughter. hey, mom, do we have a black marker and flashcards?
She created her own project.
This was a project she kept to herself.
Amanda decides to go back online to share her thoughts with the world that has been so cruel to her.
Amanda's video that she posted to her youtube channel debunking all of the rumors, it just started a massive conversation.
She created a black and white youtube video.
That was her outlet to the outside world.
She basically went through everything in order, starting with how the nude photo of her got out...
To making the mistake of sleeping with this guy who manipulated her and how that led to her being beat up and then the bleach and then being in the hospital.
And she ended it with basically saying to stay strong. come watch this.
she posted it the night of September 7th of 2012.
Prior to that, she didn't come out of her bedroom for months.
Mom, can you take me out?
I said, "you just spent two months in your room, and now you want to go out?" she goes, "I posted that video, and it feels like it's freed me."
I'm ready to go back in this world and live.
"I'm ready to go back into this world and live."
I've been thinking.
And I really want a tattoo.
I want it to say "stay strong" like demi lovato's.
She wanted the same one demi lovato has, right -- stay strong.
Still, I'm not sure about that, honey.
It'll be over my scars.
I'm so proud of you, honey. You've come such a long way.
okay, let's go.
She had it all planned out. Everything was good.
She was reconnecting with kids in the community.
She was just starting to pick up all the pieces of her life.
She had things to look forward to.
you going to be okay?
I'm fine. It's just cramps.
I'll be a couple of hours.
In the morning, I got ready for work.
She said she wasn't going to school because she wasn't feeling well.
I said fine, I would see her later.
Justin bieber was in vancouver doing a concert, and I had told her that we could get tickets.
Okay. See you home at 4:00.
nobody likes you. - porn star.
- Delete your account. - He's back. He's back.
You don't deserve all this stuff that's happening to you.
- Cam whore. - Who took this, amanda?
I'm ready to go back in this world and live.
I'm back, honey.
are you still listening to that same song? amanda?
What I saw is horrific.
I don't, though.
I can't tell you about the day, the day she took her life.
I have made it a personal commitment that I will not go on film and talk about the step-by-step, the minute-by-minute of finding amanda.
I want people to remember amanda as the videos that she posted of herself singing or the pictures of her playing when she was a little girl.
I remember the morning I found out it happened.
My laptop was beside me, and a video just started playing.
and the first thing I saw was all this...
... "I can't believe --" mom! Mom! Mom!
Just all this stuff about amanda killing herself.
I just completely broke down.
I think it just affected me so much because it was a death that wasn't supposed to happen.
It was because of all of these terrible, terrible circumstances.
Something just broke her.
losing a loved one is horrific.
When you don't get to give that final kiss or to smell your child and the smell of shampoo on their hair or sharing an ice cre-- you don't get to do any of those things again.
Those are the things that are hard.
Other people that get to go on with their lives and get to carry on, like those kids that bullied amanda, amanda doesn't get to do any of those things.
that night she died, she had 100,000 views on her youtube video.
And then the next morning we woke up, I think it was 800,000.
And it just kept spreading.
It went completely viral.
It caught fire.
The story drew headlines all over the world.
I think it really struck a chord with a lot of people.
I needed to find the predator responsible for victimizing amanda in the first place.
This is amanda todd's mother.
So is my daughter's death enough of a reason for you to find that tyler boo boy?
After amanda had died, I know the police said that they had upwards of, I think, 20 or 30 investigators working full-time on this case.
Worldwide attention pressures the police and social media sites to work together in tracing tyler boo's I.P. Address.
It takes them halfway around the world to the netherlands.
But they still need evidence that the user of this I.P. Address is amanda's tormentor.
Posing as an underage girl, an officer engages in conversation with him.
When police bug his computer to track his online activity, they have enough to make an arrest.
January of 2014, dutch police arrest a dutch man in this trailer park.
The police found more than 200,000 images, a few thousand videos, as well, of child pornography, young girls.
Some of them, I think, were as young as 9 years old.
In March 2017, aydin coban, a.K.A. Tyler boo, is found guilty of online fraud and blackmail and sentenced to almost 11 years in prison for cyber crimes in europe.
With over 100 different aliases, coban is also alleged to be alice mcallister, the supposed internet safety officer who alerted amanda's mother to his own crime.
Coban is still in prison in the netherlands and faces extradition to canada for child pornography charges in the amanda todd case.
It completes the circle somewhat.
Will there ever be full justice?
No, there won't be, because aydin coban is only a part of this.
There are real others in the world that have bullied amanda to her death.
She was just beautiful, inside and out.
amanda was the kind of person that if you brought something up, she'd immediately push her stuff aside to be a friend to you, which is...
...Um, phenomenal for someone who's gone through so much.
Her dream was to become a famous singer.
When she died, she was the third-most google-searched person on the internet.
She got that wish.
It's bittersweet, but it's sweet that people have made ways to change their lives and the lives of others.
We can't save amanda, but we can save another person, so that's what she wanted.
That's what her legacy's all about.