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Social Media Bullying

What percentage of children have been bullied on social media?

Percentage of children bullied on social media - Schoolchild Survey - Graph from Education Quizzes

Bullying is a curse of childhood. Ever since schools first opened they have, unfortunately, been the haunts of the playground persecutor. But nowadays, with the changes to society brought about by the internet, bullies have a new space in which to torment others – social media.

For our latest survey we wanted to find out just how much of a problem this is. According to global youth organisation Ditch the Label, just 13% of youngsters have been bullied online. Our survey disagrees.

We asked a total of 3,516 people whether they have ben bullied on social media. We then broke the results down by age so that we could see how different age groups are affected. The results are shocking. This is what we discovered:

  • 36.62% of 5 to 7-year-olds have been bullied on social media
  • 20.31% of 8 to 11-year olds experienced bullying on social media
  • 25.74% of 12 to 13-year-olds have been bullied on social media
  • 28.82% of 14 to 17-year olds reported having been bullied on social media
  • 17.12% of adults were also bullied on social media

As you can see, well over 13% of our respondents were bullied on social media. In fact, the average for all ages was a whopping 22.27% - that’s over a fifth. Disregarding adults, the average is 27.87%, meaning that over a quarter of children have been bullied on social media.

What counts as bullying?

You may think of bullying as physical abuse, but there is much more to it than that. Intimidation and threats of violence, name calling, ridicule, humiliation, social isolation, forcing someone to do something against their will, blackmail… Bullying is insidious and it comes in many forms.

The first step to protecting your child from bullying is to make them aware of it. It can be so ingrained in a culture that it’s accepted as the norm, so make sure your child knows what is and what is not acceptable.

How to recognise if a child is being bullied

Many victims of bullying keep it to themselves out of fear or an unwarranted sense of shame. Thankfully, there are some tell-tale signs that you can look out for:

  • They become quieter than usual
  • They become more emotional
  • Mood swings, from their normal self to depression, fear or anger
  • Reluctant to go to school
  • Avoiding a certain item of clothing (because it has been ridiculed by their peers)
  • Torn clothing
  • Missing belongings
  • Cuts or bruises

If you notice any of these signs then talk to your child. Make sure you listen to what they have to say, rather than jumping in with righteous anger.

How to protect your child from bullying on social media

It is very hard to keep an eye on everything your child does online. However, there are some things you can do to help guard them against bullies.

Firstly, make sure that you set rules. Certain sites should be forbidden, and you can use parental controls to ensure this.

Make sure your child knows about privacy settings on social media. Personal information, such as address or phone number, should never be disclosed. Also, they should only ever accept friend requests from people they actually know.

Tell them to block any bullies from contacting them. They should also come to you and report the user to the website provider. It’s a good idea to gather evidence against the bully. Screenshots are a great way to do this.

If the perpetrator is a fellow pupil at your child’s school, then contact them and report what has been going on. If the bullying is serious or persistent then, as a last resort, contact the police.

More Survey Results

Full Results of our "Have you been bullied on social media?" Survey

Here are the results from 3,516 people who answered our question "Have you been bullied on social media?". The survey was conducted in the week ending October 25th, 2020.

Age Percentage of Respondents who have been bullied
5-7 36.62
8-11 20.31
12-13 25.74
14-17 28.82
Adults 12.87
Children average 27.87
Total average 22.27

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