A true crime documentary style feature from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporationќs The Fifth Estate, Stalking Amanda: The Man in The Shadows, re-tells the story of Amanda Todd. Her story ties into one you've heard many times before. In fact, since the dawn of the personal computer era, we've heard horror stories and warnings about why it isn't safe for young girls to chat with older men, and how especially dangerous it would be to meet up with these men.
However, as time has progressed so has technology and the dangers faced by young girls like and including Amanda have progressed and developed as well. The ability to take screen shots or screen caps as they are sometimes called, as well as the ability for anyone online to be anyone they want to be, a lasting tool that internet predators have had for decades, were the choice weapons used against Amanda Todd. Her blackmail and extortion by a man significantly older than her who lived nearly halfway across the world are referred to today as bullying, but audience members may feel after watching Stalking Amanda... that maybe it is time to stop calling all cases of teenage assault bullying.
Bullying has serious consequences, but when a man extorts minors all over the globe and distributes child pornography created with images he's blackmailed those minors into taking, perhaps it is time to consider that he is in a separate league than the insecure teenager who insults others on the basis of their sexual preference, social class, race, or whatever he deems enough to place that victim at a level of inferiority.
Like most cases of extreme bullying, Amanda's tale has a fatal end, and this is where similarities can be drawn. They can also be drawn, on a more obvious level, on the basis that Amanda's interactions with her tormentor happened on screen. The lack of action taken by police in many countries where this tormentor chose to strike, echoes similarities on multiple levels to things that will be different based on your perceptions as a viewer, perceptions based around factors like where you live, your awareness of the news, and your interactions with other people. You'll take from it what you will, which is ironic since Stalking Amanda is largely objective.
Relive this case through talks with Amanda's mother and father, subtle re-inactions, documents taken from an official Facebook investigation (one that was more thorough, according to evidence released in this documentary, than the investigations of either the Dutch or Canadian Royal Mounted Police) and accounts from friends who were, seemingly, with Amanda through all of her troubles. Awareness strikes all action, and that awareness comes from information. Stalking Amanda: The Man in The Shadows is informative, real, and newsworthy; even today.