According to a new study by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation Headspace in Australia, more than a third of young people have experienced negative online rumors. This may have been accompanied by angry, negative comments on their pages. This survey was conducted as part of the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. This has once again demonstrated and confirmed the dangers of the phenomenon of cyberbullying on the Internet, which can have serious social and psychological consequences.

According to the National Youth Mental Health Foundation’s Hapespace News Center, the study also found that one in two teens has been cyberbullied during their lifetime.

This alarming rate has remained unchanged since 2018. At the same time, one in four people has even been the victim of an attempted direct online attack.

As The Daily Campus notes, many people use the anonymity features of social media specifically to send negative messages or just to troll for various reasons, as the online space is now full of trolls. Due to the pandemic, many of our activities take place online, which has also led to an increase in online cyberbullying. Of course, cybersecurity experts are exploring various options to reduce the risk of online bullying and make the internet safer for different categories of people, including social media. However, this is a long and complicated process.

Meanwhile, based on all the findings of a recent study, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation has launched a new anti-bullying campaign that is no joke and aims to create a safe online environment for all teens.

Why do people become trolls?

Research by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation Headspace has found that anyone can become a troll in certain situations.

If a person is in a bad mood, responds to what other trolls post, and is anonymous online, this can affect their participation in online discussions.

Researchers cite several reasons why people choose to troll online. Some people enjoy upsetting and annoying others, and the more attention their negative comments receive, the more psychological pleasure they derive from them.

Others prefer to troll because the anonymity of the web suits them: They can afford to say things they can’t say to their face. At the same time, most of these people don’t think about the real impact their negative messages can have on the well-being and lives of others. These consequences can sometimes be very unpredictable and deadly.

Tips for parents

The anti-bullying program is no joke and offers parents advice on creating a safer online environment for teens:

1. Find out. Familiarise yourself with the warning signs (on the campaign site) to look out for when starting a conversation.

2. Keep talking to teens about their online experiences. It can include questions about what sites they use and what they like, and help them understand that they can always ask adults for help and support if they find themselves in a negative situation online.

3. Take the experience of cyberbullying seriously. Pay attention to their concerns and help them report the incident to the platform, gather evidence, seek additional help from a qualified eSafety specialist, contact their school or workplace, etc.

4. Find out what technologies are available. Learn about the additional features built into each platform that will help keep you safe online and help your child learn to use them.

5. A regular review of their experiences can help them take action more quickly.

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frequently asked questions

What is the rate of cyberbullying?

In the United States, more than 40% of adult Internet users say they have ever been personally bullied. This phenomenon is even more pronounced among young people, as more and more of them have access to digital communication at an early age.

What is the effect of cyberbullying on a young person’s mental health?

On average, 20-40% of CYP employees have been victims of cybercrime at least once in their lifetime. There is evidence that cyberbullying can have a negative impact on mental and psychological health22,34 and is strongly associated with depression, low self-esteem39 and suicidal thoughts.

What is the prevalence of cyberbullying among adults, looking at differences in the prevalence of cyberbullying by gender, ethnicity and age?

Significant ethnic differences were found in reports of cyberbullying (), with people from the Pacific (20.9% in their lifetime; 4.4% in the past month) and Māori (19.6% in their lifetime; 3.6% in the past month) reporting more cyberbullying than New Zealanders (in their lifetime): 13.5 …

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