How big a problem is cyberbullying in the UK?

Posted on July 11, 2018


While most of us have experienced some form of bullying in our lives, the modern nature of it leaves many parents a little unsure of what their kids might be going through and what they can do about it, but how does the UK compare to the rest of the world in this new form of tormenting people?

Earlier this year, a report was released by Singaporean think tank DQ Institute stating that 47% of children aged 8 to 12 had experienced cyberbullying within the last year, and that globally, 56% of the same age group are exposed to cyber-risk, which covers cyberbullying, addiction to video games, online sexual conduct and offline meeting. This was enough for DQ to summarise that today’s kids are experiencing a “cyber-risk pandemic”.

In the report, 29 countries were studied for their levels of cyber-risk to 8-to-12-year-olds, and the UK was just a little under the average at 55%. However, among ICT advanced countries, this figure was rather on the high side compared to Japan (16%), South Korea (39%), Spain (39%), India (42%), China (43%) and the USA (51%). In fact, it was even higher than Nigeria’s 54%. The biggest risk was in Oman (78%), with Indonesia, the Philippines, Egypt and Argentina all also in the seventies.

Published back in 2011, another study suggested that bullying among teens was at its lowest rates in Nordic countries, with Sweden found to have the lowest rates, Iceland in fourth and Finland sixth. Britain and Ireland faired a little better in this piece of research, with Wales, Ireland and Scotland in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. England lagged a little behind its Celtic neighbours but still came a respectable 13th out of 40 countries looked at.

The study analysed how many youngsters had been victims, perpetrators or both of cyberbullying. In the UK and Ireland, the proportion could be averaged at 15.1%, compared to 45.2% in the worst nation, Lithuania.

Although global comparisons suggest the UK is by no means disgracing itself when it comes to cyberbullying and online protection, the rate around the world remains worryingly high, and thus the UK does have a problem like almost every other nation. British girls seem particularly vulnerable to it, with a study from last year showing that almost half have experienced it compared 40% of boys – although even the boys’ figure is a high one.

Many people who have suffered anonymous bullying online, especially through a fake social media account, have got to the bottom of the problem themselves. The Online Learning Academy has an eBook that can guide you through the process of tracing a fake Facebook account.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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