Amanda Palmer's most recent crusade started with a simple Google search.
The former Dresden Dolls frontwoman has amassed a massive social media following (over 750,000 Twitter followers -- with new 1,000 new followers per day) and has a legion of devoted fans. But that doesn't mean she's impervious to Internet criticism. While Googling herself, Palmer came across the story of a different Amanda, a 15-year-old who committed suicide in October after being viciously bullied both in person and online. She found the video of Amanda Todd.
Palmer was struck by the "poetic" parallels of Todd's YouTube life story, written on note cards, and her own Bob Dylan-esque note card video announcing her new album and asking for Kickstarter money to fund her tour.
What followed was a lengthy blog post "on internet hatred" that spawned over 800 comments on her blog alone.
She asked her fans to tell their own experiences.
i want to hear your stories, and more importantly: your coping mechanisms for dealing with everything from evil youtube commenters, facebook stalkers, bad reviewers, and if you’re lucky enough, new yorker journalists who slam you for being a fake communist.
i know…you can choose not to look, but i keep learning: the hate lives where the love lives.
The response on Twitter, too, was overwhelming.
— Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) January 6, 2013
— An Gelika (@optikschrei) January 6, 2013
Fans responded with heartfelt thanks for Palmer's post, or with posts of their own as her sentiments quickly spread via social media networks.
— byron kent wong (@byronkentwong) January 6, 2013
@amandapalmer No one can read that blog w/o tears. We've all been there. Time to change how we act, stand up, embrace the weird & wonderful
— Ciara Keating (@CiaraKeating3) January 6, 2013
Amanda Palmer is only the latest in a string of celebrities who have taken a stand against cyber bullying in the wake of a spate of teen suicides. Phoebe Prince was also fifteen when she hanged herself after persistent bullying by classmates in Massachusetts in January 2010.
The tragic deaths of Prince, Todd and others has also spurred some state lawmakers to try to tighten or enact cyberbullying laws that punish the type of online behavior that can push teens to the edge.