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The Globe and Mail

Four ordinary people made famous by social media in 2012

You had probably never heard of these people before they went viral on social media. now everyone knows their story

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Amanda Todd The suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd from Port Coquitlam, B.C., and her heartbreaking video chronicling constant bullying and feelings of hopelessness, struck a chord around the world. Video tributes multiplied on YouTube, including a message from B.C.’s Premier, a tribute page on Facebook received more than one million likes and #RIPAmandaTodd trended on Twitter for days. Outrage sparked vigils worldwide and politicians began weighing anti-bullying legislation.


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Karen Klein Karen Klein, a New York state grandmother who worked as a bus monitor, also endured relentless bullying - at the hands of children on her bus route. They called her fat and made her cry, but thanks to the efforts of a Toronto man who saw a video of her torment on YouTube, the 68-year-old has much to smile about. Max Sidorov’s fundraising campaign to send Ms. Klein on vacation attracted donations from outraged people around the world, netting more than $700,000 and allowing her to retire. The bullying students were suspended for a year.


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Jamie Lynne Grumet The L.A. mom who graced the cover of Time magazine breastfeeding her nearly-four-year-old son drew some harsh reaction to her parenting choices. While Twitter lit up with outrage and disgust, others questioned why she would subject her child to such scrutiny. But Jamie Lynne Grumet, who herself was breastfed till she was 6, shot back at her critics, arguing that it was perfectly normal and she was happy to draw attention to the issue.


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Robert Wilkinson Robert Wilkinson of Alberta got his 15 minutes of fame courtesy of a video captured of him drunkenly belting out Bohemian Rhapsody while he was in the back of an RCMP cruiser. The video was viewed millions of times, but the unemployed karaoke singer didn’t cash in. He received $1,000 from the U.S. cable network that airs World’s Dumbest Criminals – not even enough to cover the $1,400 fine he received for impaired driving and refusing a breathalyser test.


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