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Technology has deeply transformed humankind’s culture and values. In just a few decades various technologies managed to permeate our society and thoroughly change our lives. Smartphones, the internet and social media (just to name a few) are now an integral part of our daily habits.
It's not all fun and games, though.
There is a darker side to this technological evolution, and it can have a devastating effect not only on our image online, but on our everyday lives as well. The modern-day issue we’re going to discuss in TechJury is cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying statistics worldwide reveal alarming facts about virtual harassment, its impact, and the many different shapes and forms it can take. I have put together this list of stats that will hopefully shed more light on the issue and suggest useful ideas for tackling it. This report is based on global statistics, although a good chunk of them are comprised of data from the US and UK, because of the more in-depth research in these countries. Here are some of the findings.
Key Cyberbullying Statistics
The following cyberbullying stats and facts may cause you to worry about your little ones:
- 46% of US teens aged 13 to 17 have been bullied online.
- 28% of teenagers have experienced several types of cyberbullying.
- 41% of US adults have experienced cyberbullying.
- Cyberbullying victims are 1.9 times more likely to commit suicide.
- 42% of young people have been bullied on Instagram compared to 37% on Facebook.
- The highest rate of cyberbullying is in India at 38%, followed by Brazil at 29%, and the U.S. at 26%.
- 210 out of 1000 victims of bullying are high school girls with different skin colors.
- Only 38% of cyberbullying victims are willing to admit it to their parents.
- 68% of children that have gone through online harassment have experienced mental health issues.
- 42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyberbullying.
- 33% of teenagers have sent explicit images or text to someone else at least once.
- 66% of female victims have feelings of powerlessness because of cyberbullying.
The simplest definition of cyberbullying is a form of harassment that employs electronic forms of contact. Online bullying statistics encompass a variety of shapes and forms of this aggressive behavior — hate speech, sexual remarks, stalking, trolling, and ridicule. If we ignore this toxic behavior, it can easily escalate to criminal levels like impersonation, leaking private images/video, even death threats.
That said, let's review the latest cyberbullying data for 2023.
General Cyberbullying Statistics
It’s 2023 and social media has become the main news and opinion outlet. Has this affected how people communicate? Let’s check those statistics regarding cyberbullying in those interesting times.
Cyberbullying is a global problem and the numbers below prove it.
Nearly half of the teenangers have experienced cyberbullying at least once.
(Source: pew research)
46% of US teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have experienced one of six cyberbullying types. Name-calling is the most common form of online bullying. 32% of teenagers have been called offensive names online. 28% of teenagers have experienced more than one type of cyberbullying.
Here are the 6 main cyberbullying types:
- Offensive name-calling
- Spreading of false rumors about them
- Receiving explicit images they didn’t ask for
- Physical threats
- Constantly being asked where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with by someone other than a parent
- Having explicit images of them shared without their consent
41% of US adults experienced online harassment.
(Source: Pew Research)
You might think that bullying only happens amongst school kids that don’t know any better. Think again.
31% had to deal with offensive name-calling, while 26% reported purposeful embarrassment. More severe harassment included physical threats (14%), sustained harassment (11%), stalking (11%), and sexual harassment (11%).
Victims of cyberbullying are 1.9 times more likely to commit suicide.
(Source: ResearchGate, ScienceDaily)
Bullying doesn't just destroy people's self-esteem. It can do much worse.
According to cyberbullying statistics for 2022, cyberbullying is twice as likely to trigger suicidal thoughts in victims. It's also common for victims to engage in self-harming behaviour as a coping mechanism. 20% of respondents reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide.
Here's the shocker:
Offenders are also 1.7 times more likely to commit suicide. Indeed, bullies come from unhappy places, and the easiest way to deal with their issues is to hurt others and themselves. There's, therefore, a great need for anti-bullying policies in schools, to help curb the problem.
68% of children that have gone through online harassment have experienced mental health issues.
According to cyberbullying effects statistics, two-thirds of victims (both kids and young adults) have suffered from mental health issues. The effects of the vice include stress, depression, anxiety, and loss of empathy, amongst others.
60% of children and young people have witnessed someone going through harassment on social media.
Cyberbullying is so common that more than 50% of survey respondents reported having been present during such virtual altercations.
If bystanders are to intervene in such cases as opposed to looking on, that just might help stop the attacks.
71% of survey participants don't feel like social platforms are doing enough to fight the problem.
(Source: Ditch The Label)
Social networks are doing enough to protect victims from virtual harassment. According to cyberbullying statistics in the UK, 7 out of 10 people feel like the platforms should do more.
It's not enough to suspend offenders from posing for a few days or banning them from groups. The social giants should follow up on cyberbullying cases, and give heftier punishments to bullies.
School bullying drastically decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Source: Child Trends)
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in remote learning for most schools. Hence, children who were bullied at school had some respite. This positive outcome also extended to the frequency and intensity of cyberbullying, with a 28% decrease in reported cases between 2019 and 2021.
Nearly 14% of public schools report that bullying is a discipline problem occurring daily or at least once a week.
Middle schools report the highest rate of bullying at 28%, with high schools coming in second at 16%, and combined schools and primary schools following at 12% and 9% respectively.
Cyberbullying is higher amongst middle schoolers, with 33%, followed by high schoolers at 30%, combined schoolers at 20%, and primary school kids making up 5%.
Over 6% of global users have had their online accounts hacked, and 4% have lost access to their devices due to hackers.
Cyberbullying and internet safety are interconnected and often share common problems. Carelessness about online safety opens a doorway for unauthorized access to our most private information and moments. The main issue continues to be virus-infected devices, at 14%, but hacked accounts are also emerging as a threat.
People from Europe and South America are generally dissatisfied with the current cyberbullying measurements.
Cyberbullying statistics among 28 surveyed countries reveal general dissatisfaction with how bullying is tackled, even in places with active anti-bullying laws. Only 13% of Serbians and 15% of Chileans express satisfaction. On the other end of the spectrum, Russians and Chinese are content with the current state, with 37% and 41% respectively.
Social Media Bullying Statistics
Not surprisingly, most cyberbullying cases happen via social networks. And the numbers below prove it.
Instagram has the highest percentage of cyberbullies.
(Source: First Site Guide)
Social media bullying statistics show that 42% of youths were bullied on Instagram – more than on any other platform. Facebook follows with 37%, while Snapchat, Whatsapp, and YouTube are at 31%, 12%, and 10%, respectively.
Annual Social Media Bullying Survey
|Social network||Percentage of young people who use the platform||Percentage of young people who have been cyberbullied on the platform|
Considering that over a billion people use Instagram, you can only imagine how many cyberbullying cases happen daily.
Over 80% of children own a mobile phone and have multiple social network accounts. 57% of them admit they have seen or experienced online harassment.
Even just witnessing online abuse as a bystander can have a psychological effect. Studies establish a direct relationship between a lack of reaction to such incidents and the likelihood of becoming a cyberbully yourself.
Social media bullying statistics put LGBT teens at a 5x higher risk of being abused on Facebook.
People with non-traditional sexual orientations are targeted more frequently online than in an offline environment. That is mainly because perpetrators feel they are more likely to get away with their actions in the virtual world. Facebook shelters over 83 million fake profiles, many of which protect the anonymity of bullies and trolls.
Internet trolls are most active on social media. 38% observe trolling behaviour on such platforms, while 23% have seen them frequently "operate" on video-sharing websites.
Social media bullying statistics from a global Statista research establish internet trolling as a daily occurrence. Trolls are also very fond of video platforms like YouTube, trending blogs, chat rooms, and forums. Their behavior very much relies on expressing provocative opinions and thriving on the chaos that ensues.
Only 2% of Americans believed that social media platforms are doing an excellent job addressing online harassment.
(Source: Pew Research)
According to cyberbullying stats, 16% of American adults think social media companies do a good job of addressing the issues surrounding online harassment. 33% gave a poor score on the same subject, while 47% believed efforts by the sites were fair.
Cyberbullying Statistics By Country
You already know cyberbullying is a global phenomenon. Still, the following stats reveal some interesting data about cyberbullying in different countries.
India had the most cases of cyberbullying in 2022.
(Source: First Site Guide)
The countries where cyberbullying is most prevalent are India(38%), Brazil(29%), and the US(26%). However, the current cyberbullying stats show that over 38% of Indian parents reported that their children had been bullied online at least once.
Online bullying stats from the EU: the most common age you are likely to experience cyberbullying is 13-15.
(Source: European Parliament)
Children gain access to modern technologies at a progressively young age. This comes with its own benefits and threats. They are exposed to cyberbullying even before their eleventh birthday and the risks for them grow as they enter their teen years. While the likelihood of being bullied doesn't seem to be age-related, studies from many countries like Greece, France, and Hungary all mark 13-15 as the most vulnerable period.
Alarming facts about cyberbullying in Asian countries — a survey among 3000 students reveal 48.4% have had embarrassing videos of them posted online and 47.3% have been a victim of hate speech.
(Source: Talking Point)
Other common forms of bullying include embarrassing online comments and social ridicule. Very few report this abusive behavior to parents or teachers in fear of having their electronic devices taken away from them.
Only 35% of UK students have never been a victim of cyberbullying, while 7% admit they are suffering from this type of behavior regularly.
Cyberbullying victim statistics acknowledge the situation in UK schools has been getting worse in the last five years. While children are still hesitant to admit they have been victims or perpetrators of cyberbullying, overall replies suggest an increasing number of affected adolescents.
63% of internet trolls in the US prefer to engage in political topics. Other popular subject matters are celebrities (52%) and religion (48%).
Internet trolls "feed" on emotional reactions so it's no surprise that you can often find them lurking around common, but somehow delicate topics. They will drop an unpopular or controversial opinion and aim to cause a wave of aggravated reactions.
Cyberbullying Awareness Statistics
Two decades ago cyberbullying awareness didn't even exist as a term. Today things are different.
Searches for "cyberbullying" have tripled in the last decade.
(Source: Google Trends)
General awareness and curiosity about the term "cyberbullying" is steadily growing in the last ten years, according to Google Trends. With just a couple of yearly searches before 2008, this also goes to show that cyberbullying rates are also on the rise every year.
Global cyberbullying awareness is at 75%. Sweden and Italy are leading the chart with 91% awareness.
It's important to note that most countries garner an impressive number of respondents who are aware of the issue. While the poor awareness in countries like Saudi Arabia (37%) comes as no surprise, it's quite unexpected to see France (50%) at the bottom of the list.
Companies are actively trying to spread awareness. Over 45% of employees in bigger companies agree their employer has a comprehensive cyberbullying policy in place.
Cyberbullying stats reveal that employees are generally aware of the company policies regarding online harassment. Companies with 25,000+ staff members tend to be very careful when it comes to spreading awareness. Smaller businesses should look to be proactive in tackling online abuse on a global scale.
Workplace awareness is most notable in Australia (57%) and the UK (51%).
Australian workers are the ones best informed about the policies of their employers. 57% of Australians know exactly what to do in a cyberbullying situation, while another 33% are only somewhat aware of their workplace policy. On the other hand, stats on cyberbullying awareness in France indicate only 1 out of 5 people is informed about the issue and how to deal with it.
Cyberbullying Victims Statistics
Now that you know a lot about the oppressors and awareness, let's look at the most common targets of this harassment.
Multiracial females have the highest risk of being victimized by bullies. 210 out of 1000 victims are high school girls with different skin colors.
(Source: Cyberbullying Research Center)
As much as we have evolved, racism and sexual prejudice still plague society today. There is a clear tendency of online harassment by gender and skin color, even in countries that have been multicultural for decades.
Cyberbullying statistics among female students in the US unveil that 36.7% have experienced online abuse at least once in their lifetime. 10.2% admit to bullying others.
Unsurprisingly, women are often the preferred targets of online harassment. A survey among 5700+ respondents uncovers that 1 out of 3 girls falls victim to cyberbullying. On the other hand, 1 in 10 admits that they have been a bully to someone else online.
Bullies often ridicule disabilities and mental problems like autism (75%), physical defects (70%), and learning problems (52%).
Different natural disabilities are a frequent target for cyberbullies, especially among younger respondents. These statistics raise a reasonable concern about the level of awareness and bully prevention in the educational system.
42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyberbullying. 35% of them have received online threats, while 58% have been a victim of hate speech at least once.
(Source: Family Planning)
Our attitude towards alternative sexual orientation has come a long way in the last few decades. More and more countries are adopting laws in support of gay relationships, marriage, and other social rights. Still, not everyone chooses to be so understanding, and the LGBT community is a constant victim of online harassment.
Teenage Cyberbullying Statistics
Although adults aren't immune to cyber bullying, teenagers are the most common victims of these attacks.
Online bullying among US teenagers often includes offensive name-calling (42%), spreading false rumors (32%), and receiving unwanted explicit images (25%).
Social networks and chat platforms are a perfect environment for cyberbullying. Perpetrators can hide behind a wall of anonymity while interacting with others. Platforms like Chatroulette and more recently, Snapchat are good examples of the hidden dark side of anonymity.
Children are also increasingly aware of the dangers of cyberbullying. 68% of US respondents confirm they are sharing less personal information online than before.
Millennials and Gen-Z seem to realize how many kids are cyberbullied today and are more cautious as a result. That is especially true when it comes to sharing personal information, sending private photos or even revealing their true identity. Their favorite online platforms are Instagram and Snapchat, picking up 71% and 66% mentions respectively.
One of the most discussed modern phenomena is sexting. 33% of young respondents have sent explicit images or text to someone else at least once.
Three out of four surveyed teens are also very likely to delete the image/text immediately after, in fear of being blackmailed by cyber bullies. It is still a gray area if deleting these messages is the right course of action as this might hinder further investigations into the issue.
Minors who have experienced cyberbullying are 9 times more likely to be victims of identity fraud too.
A 2017 worldwide research conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research reveals that over 1 million children fell victim to identity fraud in the last 12 months. The study shows a direct correlation between cyberbullying and scams when it comes to the likelihood of becoming a victim.
61% of teens who report being bullied say the reason was their physical appearance.
Cyberbullying is frequently targeted at teens due to their physical appearance, intelligence (25%), racism (17%) and sexual discrimination (15%). Others are also mocked for their financial difficulties (15%) or religion (11%).
Reasons for Cyberbullying
Percentage of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying In Gaming
Considering the number of people playing video games it's no wonder it's one of the preferred channels for cyberbullying. The stats below reveal some curious details.
38% of gamers have had an online account hacked at least once.
Joint research by anti-bullying organization Ditch The Label and social networking platform Habbo has gathered cyberbullying stats from over 2500 respondents. They suggest the most common types of online harassment among gamers are trolling (64%), hate speech (57%), and personal threats (47%).
Teens attribute the increasing cases of bullying in gaming to anonymity (86%), ignorance of real-life repercussions (76%), and no fear of punishment (73%).
"Why is cyberbullying behavior so prevalent in online multiplayer games?" - This question was raised among 936 respondents as part of a study conducted by two Sierra College graduates. 805 of them put "anonymity" as the most common reason, while 605 believe the increasing cyberbullying rate is due to the perpetrators craving attention.
Are gamers more likely to become cyberbullies? 11% have engaged in online harassment, compared to 8% non-gamers.
(Source: Cyberbullying Research Center)
Although it is hard to prove a direct relation between gaming and bullies, more often than not gamers can take the role of an oppressor. Interestingly enough that is also true when it comes to being a victim — 40.7% have been on the receiving end of online abuse, compared to 27.2% non-gamers.
MMORPG gamers are most likely to engage in cyberbullying.
(Source: First Site Guide)
Cyberbullying statistics for 2022 show that 26.8% of MMORPG gamers participate in online bullying. Third-person shooter games are a close second with 24.5%, followed by first-person shooters at 14.2%.
Cyberbullying From a Parent's Point of View
When we are talking about cyberbullying we can't leave the parents out. That's why we've gathered some statistics to show how aware parents are of cyberbullying.
Parental awareness and subsequent actions vary considerably around the world. Over 37% of parents in India have reported their children suffering from online bullying. In Japan and Russia, that number is less than 4%.
Research conducted in over 28 countries offers some unusual insight. Parental awareness in countries like the US, India, and Brazil is on the rise, while European countries remain relatively uninformed when it comes to tackling online abuse. The staggering 0% reported from Russia outlines either complete parental obliviousness or draconian measurements in place.
Over 20,000 parents participated in worldwide research about high-risk online platforms. 65% single out cyberbullying on social media as their biggest fear. Other common threats include text messaging (38%) and chat rooms (34%).
When it comes to the most popular social network among teens, there is an interesting mismatch between what parents and children think. While adults still believe the most action happens on Facebook and Twitter, the kids are progressively adopting newer networks like Instagram and Snapchat.
Asian parents are well aware of the dangers of online harassment and often try to discuss online behavior with their children. Cyberbullying stats reveal 46% do it "all the time" and 39% raise the topic every now and then. Only 12% have never talked about the issue.
Modern technology is no terra incognita for parents across the Asian continent, and they are understandably concerned about the dangers lurking online. Constant communication is critical for them, especially as kids from this region adopt technology at a very young age.
An online Statista survey asked parents about the harmful effects of the digital craze on today's youth. Internet addiction is a cause of worry for 14%, whereas 7% are mainly concerned about the growing cyberbullying rates.
The survey also revealed that parents are well-informed about possible online hazards and their answers outlined multiple aftereffects. That fact, combined with the high overall awareness, helps them better communicate and predispose their kids to share negative experiences.
Cyberbullying Effects Statistics
We can all agree cyberbullying is a problem in our society.
Still, how does it affect the victims?
From those bullied in the last year, 37% developed social anxiety while 36% fell into depression.
Bullies often don't realize it, but their actions have severe consequences on their victims' lives. UK teens report anxiety, depression, self-harming, even developing eating disorders as aftereffects of cyberbullying in schools.
Online abuse and suicidal thoughts are directly interconnected. 24% have contemplated suicide after continuous cyberbullying.
Puberty is a delicate period of our childhood, and it's scary enough by itself. Cyberbullying needlessly amplifies the stress and anxiety of our early teens, especially with girls, as they enter puberty earlier than boys.
It's not all grim when it comes to online abuse. 24% of cyberbullying witnesses in Asia became more vigilant, and 7% felt inspired to make a change.
Positive cyberbullying facts arrive from the Asian region. Along with all the negative consequences, kids seem to be increasingly active in preventing online harassment when they see it. This fact implies a good understanding and progressive view of an issue that consistently plagues an environment they often inhabit.
A nationwide survey among 5,400 US teens rings the alarm — a whopping 64% of cyberbullying victims say that it "really affected their ability to learn and feel safe at school".
(Source: Florida Atlantic University)
Schools are supposed to be sanctuaries, where teachers sow the seeds of knowledge in the sprouting minds of our young ones. So it's bothersome to realize just how many kids are cyberbullied, which negatively affects the whole experience in the most important years of their development.
Most significant psychological impacts for female victims of cyberbullying include feelings of powerlessness (66%), loss of sleep (63%), and lower self-esteem (61%).
About 1,000 women, aged 18-55, spoke about how online abuse affected their offline lives. Many of them put down multiple harmful effects, which varied from mood swings and low focus to depression and panic attacks.
Reactions to Cyberbullying
So how do the victims react to this virtual harassment?
We've gathered some data that answers the question.
Are we doing anything to tackle the issue? Fortunately, a good percentage of cyberbullying victims are willing to admit it to their parents (38%) or friends (27%).
Only 15% of the surveyed teens believe that sweeping the issue under the rug is the best way to solve it. Nowadays it's an essential life skill to be able to point out and react to the many threats that accompany technological evolution.
Over 70% of teens say that blocking the account of the perpetrator was the most effective method for internet safety.
(Source: National Crime Prevention Council)
The research was conducted among US teens and outlines their take on the best ways for cyberbullying prevention. Before they turn to their parents though, many prefer to simply block the bully's account, ask them to stop or tell a friend about their concerns.
How do female victims react to cyberbullying? Over half of them admit they just block the account in question (57%), but many look to further pursue the perpetrator with the help of the platform owner or administrator (22%).
Cyberbullying stats from last year show that female empowerment is truly helping women gain more confidence and self-esteem. They are no longer just silent witnesses of abusive and inappropriate behavior, instead, they bravely stand their ground and protect their rights.
About 33% of females and 16.6% of males had depressive symptoms in their young adulthood.
Over three years, the rate of cyberbullying victimization among female respondents rose from 3.8% to 6.4%, while the rate among male respondents increased from 1.9% to 5.6%.
Females (7.5%) are more than three times as likely as males (2.3%) to report serious consideration of attempting suicide in the past year.
Cyberbullying — Key Takeaways
- Cyberbullying evolves along with digital platforms and can take many shapes and forms.
- Global awareness is relatively high, especially in Asia and Scandinavia.
- Young children, women, and people with a non-traditional sexual orientation are the most common targets for online bullies.
- Cyberbullying statistics and facts inspire young people to actively participate in resolving the problem
If you want to protect your kids you might want to consider getting an antivirus solution with parental controls or use parental control software. That way, you can monitor your child's online behavior and keep it safe from online threats.
Keep in mind that these cyberbullying statistics aren't just numbers - they represent real people who fall victim to online harassment. Try taking all the possible measures to keep you and your closest ones out of these numbers.
Stay safe, and we'll see you next time!
Christo is a journalist who contributed to techjury blog in 2019. He knows very well how tech has revolutionized the way we live, communicate, and create value. With experience of writing about internet and threats it poses, he mostly writes about ways to stay safe in the modern world. Here are some articles that Christo shared with Techury readers: https://techjury.net/blog/tumblr-statistics/ https://techjury.net/blog/virtual-reality-statistics/
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