12/13/2012 06:10 EST | Updated 12/13/2012 06:20 EST

Amanda Todd Among Google Top Searched People 2012


Amanda Todd, the B.C. teen whose suicide unleashed an international debate on cyberbullying, was among the top trending searches of 2012, said a Google year-end report.

The search engine's Zeitgeist report tracked 1.3 trillion searches from around the world.

Todd's name was ranked third in the trending people category, just behind singer Whitney Houston and Britain's Kate Middleton.

Todd's story ignited interest beyond B.C. and Canada, and her "emotional story ... captured people's attention and highlighted the issue of cyberbullying," Google spokesman Daniel Sieberg told the Vancouver Sun.

Google defines "trending" as a high amount of traffic over a defined period, compared to the most searches overall for a particular term, said the newspaper.

Story continues after gallery:

Photo gallery Google Top Trending People Searches 2012 See Gallery

Todd caught the world's attention after she posted a YouTube video that outlined the years of online and physical bullying she endured. The 15-year-old killed herself in October.

Social media, a tool used prominently in her torment, spread her video and her story across international borders. Memorial vigils were held around the world, and the B.C. government organized an anti-bullying summit last month.

Singer Raffi, Todd's mother, and other prominent B.C. figures have sent a letter to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg asking the company to tighten security around adult predators on the social platform.

Google's top trending people 2012

  1. Whitney Houston
  2. Kate Middleton
  3. Amanda Todd
  4. Michael Clarke Duncan
  5. One Direction
  6. Felix Baumgartner
  7. Jeremy Lin
  8. Morgan Freeman
  9. Joseph Kony
  10. Donna Summer