Amanda Cummings, a 15-year-old girl who died Monday from injuries sustained from a suicide attempt by jumping in front of a city bus on Dec. 27, has left behind a tale of tragedy and a dark glimpse into today's humanity as bullying and cyber bullying run ramped through the depths of an insensitive world.
Amanda, a high school student from Staten Island, N.Y., was frequently bullied by her peers mainly because of a relationship she had with a 19-year-old boy.
The teen left behind some tell-tale signs of someone in trouble posting cryptic Facebook messages about wanting to die and being distressed. She was also carrying a suicide note on her at the time of the accident.
A Facebook remembrance page was made in Amanda's name as a place for friends and family to gather and reminisce on the good times, but in a disgusting twist the page was attacked by an anonymous group.
These hackers, better known as Internet Trolls, ransacked the page posting photoshopped images, sayings, videos, and even some pornography to mock the death of the teen. To make matters worse, they also commented and harassed actual mourners causing intense online fighting.
The website that sent the trolls was 4chan.org, and it has a section titled, "/b/" where cyberbullies, hackers, and trolls gather together with the goal of tearing down or destroying some sort of cause.
The call to arms message read, "So /b/, I please ask that you respect her memory, and write a thoughtful paragraph or too so that all of the teenage candy-a**** can feel like heroes by writing how sad they are that the girl is bullied is dead."
The Christian Post spoke to a teen who is very familiar with 4Chan and how it works. He wished to be anonymous for fear of repercussions and gave a quick bio of how 4Chan works.
"4Chan was started in Oct. of 2003 and started out alot worse than it is now in terms of raiding people and ruining people’s lives. However also in 2003 it did have the best creativity in terms of funny jokes and harmless pranks. The board system works as so. Each board is branded by a letter(s). /a/ /b/ /mu/ /p/ /x/ /g/ etc. standing respectively for anime, random, music, photography, paranormal and technology users post anonymously no signup is needed."
He continues, "The way it works is people make threads in the boards and if no one responds to a thread long enough it gets pushed further back. Once it gets to the end of page 15 it is gone forever. 4chan is the original tumblr and reddit in terms of memes. Every meme ever made was made from 4chan."
"2009-2012 is when it became more of a mainstream board. It was at this point that the raids turned horrible. The worst thing that has come out of /b/ has been raiding r.i.p pages of suicide victims (hero's as they call them). They also make memes out of the people who commit suicide."
"It's only like 20 percent of people who do these attacks," he said.
Cummings' friends have tried their best to defend against the Internet trolls, but they keep coming by the thousands all blaming another website like 9Gag.com or FunnyJunk.com.
"They planned to make that page and bash on her death. They do it because they try to get their self-esteem up. It's from everyone all over the world. There's no control and stopping them," said Alyssa Vanderhoef of Staten Island to the Staten Island Advance. "It just made me furious, because she didn't deserve anything that happened."
Although 4Chan has done some good, like track down criminals and pedophiles, these new attacks are far worse than anything positive that can come of the site.
An online petition called, "Protecting children on Facebook from bullies: Prevention of "Trolling" by adults and peers," was created today in hopes of stopping the hate and bullying of the already deceased teen.
The description on the petition reads, "Let us show facebook and her attackers, that this girl's memory is not just a mere passing glance, but that new rules and regulations need to be established to prevent and protect her memory, other children that have been victims, and future victims."
The creator then begins a rallying cry of their own with the final statement. "Since starting this petition, I have received numerous threats from 4chan and 9gag. These people are not powerful, we can be the change. Put yourself into her family's shoes, how would you feel if your child had suffered this fate. SHARE THIS LINK on EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA SITE YOU Have. LETS GO VIRAL!"
The petition can be found here http://www.change.org/petitions/protecting-children-on-facebook-from-bullies-prevention-of-trolling-by-adults-and-peers
Amanda's funeral was today, and although she felt alone while alive, hundreds of people showed up to show their support for the family.
One of her friends since 6th Grade, Joey Demato, said "She’ll always be with us as long as we commit her love and spirit into our hearts and remember the happy moments, minutes, hours, and years we have been blessed to spend with this beautiful girl," reported the Advance.
Matt O'Day, a Staten Island resident who was monitoring the whole situation closely on Facebook said, "I think it is wrong and disgusting that in this young girls death she is still being bullied. I think it’s worse that she is being bullied by people she didn't even know. A stupid website told its members to do it. Where do you draw the line of what is right or wrong?"
O'Day goes on to talk about a comments a popular New York DJ named Chunky made on his 92.3 NOW radio show about an ex-girlfriend being hit by a bus. He claims it was an accident but maybe he should of called in like everyone else and explained his side instead of waiting until he had work again. "The bottom line is bullying needs to stop now or more young kids will be taking their lives for no reason."
According to statements the DJ made today, this joke was taken out of context, and to him directly referring to Amanda was a malicious rumor.
Chunky prides himself in standing up against bullies, and supporting bullied teens. Here his explanation at, http://923now.radio.com/2012/01/06/stop-the-hate-bullying-includes-spreading-rumors-too/.
Another anonymous commenter told The Christian Post, "Out of curiosity, I glanced at the /b/ page. Lasted approximately 20 seconds before nearly vomiting on the computer. Sick people."
He continued, "I read somewhere that /b/ is like the bathroom stall of the Internet. If you ask me, it's what enters the toilet."