View Full Version : One in 10 teenagers say they are victims of the rise of the cyberbullies

Mar 15th, 2006, 12:08 PM
'Huge problem' plaguing young at school and home
Internet 'a gift from God' for hi-tech tormentors

Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent
Wednesday March 15, 2006
The Guardian

More than one in 10 British teenagers have been victims of bullying online, according to a survey. Figures published yesterday showed that 11% of 12 to 15 year-olds had been harassed, bullied or victimised.
Many of the 500 teenagers surveyed said they had received threatening emails or messages, while more than a quarter said somebody had published misleading information about them on the web. With many teenagers using instant messaging, blogs and other websites to keep in contact, the threat of cyberbullying is rising, say experts.

"It's a huge problem - probably even higher than these figures suggest," says Liz Carnell of Bullying Online (bullying.co.uk). "We get a lot of complaints of hi-tech bullying. Bullies will exploit everything they can, and the internet is a God-given gift for them."

Experts have seen many strains of abuse on the web, ranging from rude emails to complex operations such as the manipulation of photos, sometimes taken secretly using mobile phones. Schools in Hertfordshire are confronting a particularly vicious online campaign, in which anonymous users are invited to discuss and attack named victims on website forums.

Like ordinary bullying, the online version can often be dangerous and sometimes even result in suicide among depressed teenagers. "There's a wide spectrum when it comes to cyberbullying, and schools do need to come up to speed," said Mary Louise Morris of Childnet International. "I think there are psychological implications that can make it more disturbing than real-world bullying."

Children attacked online will often fail to tell an adult, say experts. On top of the fear and embarrassment prevalent in traditional bullying cases, many are also worried that parents may simply ban them from using their computers in an attempt to solve the problem.

The research, published yesterday by Microsoft's internet portal, involved talking to 500 teenagers. It did not take into account mobile phone bullying such as text messaging, calls and the sending of pictures. Once those are added, the problem could be far greater than parents and schools imagine, experts said.

"This research shows that as technology has become more sophisticated, so has the way children are bullied," said Elaine Peace of the children's charity NCH. "It is everyone's responsibility to protect children and young people in every sphere of their lives."

A survey last year showed that more than half of children say bullying is a widespread problem in their school, but the growth in online activity now allows abuse to continue even outside school hours, meaning that victims can continue to be subjected to taunts even in the apparent safety of their own bedrooms.

The prevalence of mobile phones among children has already led many schools to clamp down on abusive text messages, but the growing number of homes with high-speed internet connections means the problem is quickly spreading to new areas. A third of teenagers now use instant messaging on a daily basis, and Microsoft claims that more than 800,000 children are regular users of its own MSN Messenger service.

Insurers have said that compensation claims against local authorities for bullying at school have risen by 225% in the past five years. Last month 23-year-old Sophie Amor, from Blaenavon in Wales, was awarded 20,000 after being bullied as a child.



Their sample was a bit crap.

Mar 18th, 2006, 07:45 AM
Oh boy :lol:

How can anyone feel 'threatened' by a few trolls and spam messages?

Sally Struthers
Mar 18th, 2006, 07:57 AM
why are you all persecuting me?! :scared: :armed:

Mar 18th, 2006, 07:59 AM
why are you all persecuting me?! :scared: :armed:

The problem with you rich and famous folk is that you guys can't seem to tell 'fan' and 'stalker' apart ;)

TF Chipmunk
Mar 18th, 2006, 09:02 AM
The problem with you rich and famous folk is that you guys can't seem to tell 'fan' and 'stalker' apart ;)

Mar 18th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Would it be wrong for me to say that these kids spend way too much time online if they happen to feel bullied online.
It seems just a bit odd. The net is really made for open-minded adults not weak-minded children who feel bullied and then go off to cry in their room.
That's why some portals to the net like AOL have restrictions on things such as age to make sure children aren't harmed physically, emotionally, or mentally.

Mar 18th, 2006, 10:11 AM
I'm not susprise especially when look at the bashing thead in the GM. :o