It is well documented that bullying has moved from the playground into our virtual world. More and more families and educators have become aware that cyberbullying is a pervasive global issue impacting tens of thousands of young children, teens (and adults) each day. So, while awareness is gaining momentum, the question remains – Are numbers of cyberbullying incidents decreasing?
In an August 25, 2018 article published by Sam Cook in Internet Providers, he wrote, “While better connecting the world and democratizing information, the internet has also allowed individuals to hide behind masks of anonymity. The “faceless evil” of the internet is a growing threat for teens, specifically when it comes cyberbullying. Despite a recent ramp up of awareness campaigns, cyberbullying facts and statistics indicate the problem is not going away anytime soon.”
The article goes on to say “A 2007 Pew Research study found 32 percent of teens have been victims of some type of cyberbullying. Nearly a decade later, a 2016 study by the Cyberbullying Research Center found those numbers were almost unchanged. By 2016, just under 34 percent of teens reported they were victims of cyberbullying. Meanwhile, the National Crime Prevention Council puts that number much higher, at 43 percent.” (Cyberbullying facts and statistics for 2016-2018, Published by Sam Cook on August 25, 2018 in Internet Providers)
Social media is considered a primary source of online harassment. Anonymity encourages cyberbullying for the simple reason that someone can send threatening or embarrassing messages or photos and not be seen or named. Globally, whether teen or adult, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance and mental capabilities are fair game for online cyberbullying and harassment.
For young children and teens the way families and schools around the world recognize and respond to cyberbullying varies but, due to all the attention cyberbullying has received over the past few years, common tips and trends have surfaced in ways to recognize it, prevent it, know what to do if it happens to you and know what to do if you see it happen.