Anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label surveyed 10,008 people aged between 13 and 22 and found levels of cyber bullying were much higher than previously thought. A massive 69% of young people have experienced cyber bullying. Of this number, one fifth described it as ‘very extreme’
According to the research, social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, and the anonymous Q&A website Ask.fm, were the most likely sources of cyber bullying. Over half (54%) of those respondents who use Facebook reported cyber bullying on the site.
Commenting on the findings, Ditch the Label founder Liam Hackett said: “We found that cyber bullying was a growing trend within the sphere of bullying and we were naturally inclined to investigate further.
“We have identified that cyberbullying is not just a passing phase and is having a profound impact on the lives of millions across the country.
“Cyber bullying is seriously damaging the self-esteem and future prospects of young people and is an issue we cannot afford to overlook.”
If you are worried about your child being safe online, here are our tips from our partner, BeatBullying for you to discuss with your children:
1. Save and print out any bullying messages, posts, pictures or videos you receive. Make a note of the dates and times, along with any details you have about the sender’s ID and the URL.
2. Always report anything abusive you see online to the site concerned. Flag it, report it, or talk to someone about it.
3. Never respond or retaliate, as this can just make things worse. Instead, block any users that send you nasty messages. You can find a guide on how to do this on specific social networking sites at Beatbullying.org/safety/specific.
4. Think very carefully before posting photos of yourself online. Remember that once your picture is online, anyone can download it and share it or even change it.