Engage Web logo - horizontal-resized



Survey reveals nearly half of UK teens are bullied online


Survey reveals nearly half of UK teens are bullied online

A survey conducted by Opinuim on behalf of Plan International UK, a children’s charity, has indicated that almost half of all teenage girls in the UK have experienced some form of cyberbullying on social media platforms.

The poll collated data from more than 1,000 teenagers aged between 11 and 18, with 48% of the 486 teenage girls interviewed stating that they had been the victim of some sort of abuse or harassment on one or more social media platforms.

Furthermore, the study also revealed that 40% of teenage boys had similar experiences to their female counterparts. This equated to 202 from 510 male participants.

Plan International UK has said that its findings indicated that while there is pressure on young people, the type of abuse received online differed between the two genders.

The Opinuim poll showed that almost double the number of girls, 23%, stated that they felt harassed on a regular basis through social media, in comparison to 13% of boys. More teenage girls (20%) stated that they felt threatened by a comment made on these platforms than was the case for teenage boys (13%).

In terms of combatting the issues themselves, a large percentage of both genders indicated that they had altered their behaviour on these social media platforms in order to remove the criticism, with 73% of girls and 59% of boys adopting this strategy. To do this, the teens have actively blocked their bullies. As a result of receiving abuse, girls were more likely to stop actively taking part in conversations or online discussion due to the fear of being criticised or abused by another participant.

The way these teens interact with social media platforms has also had an impact on self-esteem of how they view themselves, with the study finding that almost half of the female participants feeling pressure from social media to change the way they act or look, in comparison with roughly one in three (29%) teenage boys.

As a result of this cyberbullying, a number of teenagers of both genders have been driven away from social media, with many closing all of their accounts for good. However, Plan International UK believes that teenagers should not succumb to the pressure as social media can play an important role in certain elements in life in today’s digital era, with social media having influences on interpersonal skills such as social development, and also having the potential to affect such aspects of life as careers.

Often, online bullying takes place via fake Facebook accounts. For guidance on tracing one, we’ve put together an eBook via The Online Learning Academy.

Alan Littler

Get in touch

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Book a consultation with Engage Web

Sorry to interrupt, but would you like to download our FREE Social Media Calendars?

Social Media Calendar Product Mock Up for web

 You can use them to plan your social media and content in advance, saving you time and getting better results. When you use our social media calendars, you'll always know what's trending and what to post about for your business.