VPN Compass comprised a new report that states that with rising social media usage comes the problem of online harassment and bullying. How is cyberbullying happening on the internet during the current 2021 year, and what exactly are its consequences?
The fast pace of technological advancement has transformed every part of our lives, but one of its biggest impacts has been on the way we communicate with each other. With social media and the internet keeping us connected, it has never been easier to stay updated and interact with friends, family, and perhaps even total strangers. But this ease of communication has also given rise to a new type of harassment, one growing at a worrying pace globally: Cyberbullying.
Definition of Cyberbullying
The first things which come to mind with the word “bullying” might be schoolyard fights or stolen lunch money. Or maybe a group ganging up to tease and shove around a victim who doesn’t “fit in”. Cyberbullying is simply this sort of behavior shifted online to social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook – think hurtful comments or embarrassing rumors about a victim being posted as public comments on these sites. The prevalence of such harassment is shocking, especially for youth: Over 59% of teenagers in the US have experienced cyberbullying, and globally 33% of parents report having or knowing a child within their community who had been cyberbullied.
Cyberbullying is not only limited to children and teenagers, however. 41% of adults in the US report having personally experienced online harassment, with 66% reporting that they have seen this negative behavior directed at others. High-profile cases of celebrities being harassed online often end up on the news, with South Korea, in particular, seeing a recent tragic wave of celebrity suicides linked to cyberbullying. It is clear that both adults and children all over the world can be affected by cyberbullying, which sometimes leads to disturbing consequences.
Below are some of the most important facts and statistics you need to know about this troubling phenomenon, broken down into 11 key takeaways about Cyberbullying Facts and Statistics:
Most common forms of Cyberbullying
While cyberbullying can come in all sorts of different forms, the above chart summarizes the main types of harassment faced by US teens, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. In all, 42% of the teens surveyed report having experienced offensive name-calling online, followed by:
- 32% having false rumors of them spread online
- 25% receiving unsolicited explicit images
- 21% constantly being asked where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with
- 16% being threatened with physical harm
- 7% having explicit images of them being shared without their consent