Allegations by online hacker group Anonymous that identified a Vancouver-area man as the tormenter of B.C. teen Amanda Todd were “unfounded,” according to police.
Todd, 15, committed suicide last week after suffering years of bullying and online sexual exploitation. In September the teen had posted a video on YouTube in which she described how she showed her breasts to an unknown man over a webcam. She said the man then threatened to send the pictures to friends and family unless she “put on a show” for him.
Although police said Tuesday the claims by Anonymous were false, the web handle cited in the hacker group’s posting has a disturbing Internet history with links to the same kind of online exploitation to which Todd was a victim.
In 2010, the username had been nominated as “blackmailer of the year” in the online Capper Awards, which celebrate a perverted subculture where people called cappers get young girls they call “cam whores” to expose themselves on webcams.
The username was nominated for allegedly blackmailing a different girl, identified as “Peyton.” Other awards went to the “cam whore of the year” and “Capper of the year.” In the video on YouTube, a mechanized voice of the cartoon host of the 2010 Capper Awards nominations announces the “Blackmail” category. “This one is for the rapist of the Internet,” it says.
“(The user), famous for his blackmail of Peyton, streaming her videos on BlogTV and Tinychat and threatening her in public,” says the host. An earlier video called “The Daily Capper” shows a mock news account of the accused blackmailer streaming the explicit videos of Peyton in December 2010.
“The first part shows Peyton in bra and the second in panties,” says a cartoon reporter. The details get more explicit.
“We return to a second room only to find a fuming Peyton demanding to know who had played videos, and threatening to call the police,” the reporter says.
The fake news report says the girl told her mother and police, but it is unclear whether or not her alleged blackmailer was ever found. The Capper Awards videos remained active on YouTube as of press time, except for one that was removed after a link to it was posted on an Amanda Todd memorial Facebook page.
Anonymous also published a link to a page on jailbaitgallery.com that shows pornographic photos of young girls with a title including the same online handle.