A study by Ipsos for Reuters News revealed that cyberbullying is becoming a problem in many countries.
The survey covering 24 countries found that nearly 80% of residents worldwide say cyberbulling is a problem that needs dedicated attention from schools and parents. Current measures being taken against online bullying were said not to be enough in addressing the problem.
Over 18,000 people were surveyed about cyberbullying with 6,500 being parents. Around 66% of the countries surveyed reported that awareness of cyberbulling was high, with one in ten parents reporting that their child has experienced cyberbulling. One in four parents said that they know a child in their community who has experienced cyberbulling as well.
"This study is interesting because it measures parental awareness and assessments of their children’s experiences of cyberbullying, not opinions of kids themselves. Kids in school right now are among the first generation to experience this phenomenon so it is quite possible that parental understanding of the issue is understating the actual rates of cyberbullying," said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos.
"Though parents may not have lived through the cyberbullying experience, they certainly see it as a major problem to be tackled. A majority of parents reported this form of bullying calls for a targeted approach from educators above and beyond existing anti-bullying programming," Gottfried added.
Indonesia fared high in being most aware of cyberbullying with 91%, followed by Australia with 87% and Poland with 83%.
The United States has had cases of teenage suicides linked to cyberbullying in which other child peers purposely threaten, offend, and harass another children through online technology or mobile devices.
Awareness of cyberbulling was reported by 82% of Americans. This was the same in Sweden, followed by 81% in Germany.
Some countries, however, showed low levels of knowing about cyberbullying with 29% in Saudia Arabia saying they have heard of it. In Russia, China and Turkey 50% under reported knowing about cyberbullying.
Nearly six in ten of those surveyed said that the children experienced cyberbulling through social networking sites like Facebook. The popular social networking site was the top medium used for cyberbulling for most of the countries surveyed. Four in ten said that mobile devices and chat rooms were often used for harassment; three in ten said email or online instant messaging was used, and two in 10 said other websites were used for cyberbullying.
The prevalence of cyberbullying is becoming more public with films like ‘cyberbu//y’ being made in efforts to bring attention to the negative outcomes cyberbullying has on children and teenagers.
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