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60 Cyberbullying Statistics: 2019/2020 Data, Insights & Predictions

by Arthur Zuckerman

The advent of the digital landscape, primarily social media, introduced democracy and activism, giving people the freedom to share and consume information. On the flip side, the anonymous nature of the internet has created a means for people with ill-intention to victimize innocent users. As cyberbullying statistics show, freedom of speech, coupled with the ungoverned online universe, has aggravated the situation.

As a result, flaming, catfishing, cyberstalking, online harassment, trolling, and denigration have all become rampant. To shed some valuable light on this issue, we have compiled a list of key cyberbullying statistics data and facts. We’ll reveal where and why this vice happens, and its impact on the victims. The goal is to impart insights to help you better safeguard children and young people from the adversities of the digital arena.

cyberbullying statistics

Where Does Cyberbullying Happen?

Recently, people’s desire to pick on others and put them down on social media and other platforms has become a familiar phenomenon. Today, people have the audacity to troll, humiliate, embarrass, and give others all sorts of harrowing experiences online, and worry less about how the victim will feel. But where do all these things occur? Let’s find out.

Cyberbullying per region

The following cyberbullying statistics show that online harassment and bullying are now widespread in modern society. People all around the world experience cyberbullying at different scales, with some regions recording astonishingly high levels.

  • Across different regions, Latin America has the highest level of social media bullying at 76%. North America comes second at 67%, followed closely by Europe at 65%, the Middle East/Africa at 61%, and the Asia Pacific at 53%.
  • Besides, Peru has the highest level of social media bullying at 80%. Argentina comes second at 74%, followed by Mexico (73%), Brazil (70%), Malaysia (71%), Great Britain (69%), Canada (68%), and USA (67%).
  • In 2017, Louisiana had the highest rate of online bullying (21.2%) among young people.
  • On the other hand, Delaware had the lowest rate of cyberbullying at 10.1%.

Source: IPSOS 2018

Cyberbullying per platform

The availability of digital technologies, accessibility of high-speed internet, and the universal adoption of new communication channels have triggered the increased prevalence of cyberbullying. Social media, in particular, has been singled out as the breeding ground for the vice. While we all appreciate the positives of social media, we are taken aback by how it increases cyberbullying.

  • 44% of children and young people spend more than 180 minutes per day on social media. 9% use social media overnight.
  • 65% of kids who experience cyberbullying experience this harassing behavior on social networks. In addition, 45% experience cyberbullying on mobile, 38% on online messaging, 34% on online chat rooms, and 19% on email.
  • Likewise, 20% of teens have engaged in sending sexually suggestive messages via email or text to people who never asked for them.
  • 42% of young people were bullied on Instagram. Meanwhile, others say they experienced this on Facebook (37%), Snapchat (31%), WhatsApp (12%), YouTube (10%), and Twitter (9%).
  • Also, 53% of young adults who play games online have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetime.
  • 38% of internet users in the US were trolled on social media daily.
  • According to 65% of parents around the world, social media remains the prime platform for cyberbullying.
  • In addition, one-third of adolescents who play games on mobile devices are victims of cyberbullying.

Social media has become a huge part of people’s everyday life, and it is not surprising, therefore that it’s the leading channel for cyberbullying. It’s 24/7 connectivity, and unlimited access to information are some of the alluring benefits, but behind this come on, there exist unique pressures and risks, as shown by the above cyberbullying statistics.

Perpetrators and Victims of Cyberbullying Statistics

Victims of cyberbullying statistics

It seems that bullies aren’t choosy with their victims as they pick them regardless of their occupation or position in society. Anyone who uses the internet is at risk of being bullied online. As you will notice, bullies have mostly targeted children and young people. However, this doesn’t mean adults are not targeted. Some statistics suggest that cyberbullying is also common among adults.

  • In 2019, 36.5% of students in middle and high schools in the US said they had experienced cyberbullying in their lifetime.
  • In addition, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 59% of teenagers in the US have been harassed or bullied online.
  • Another worrying fact is that 60% of teen girls and 59% of teen boys have experienced cyberbullying.
  • Further, 59% of parents of US teens say they are worried a lot about their children getting harassed or bullied online.
  • Alarmingly, 54% of UK citizens have been bullied at some point.
  • Also, 59% of young people in the UK didn’t experience cyberbullying in the past year.
  •  87% of cyberbullies think it’s easier to get away with the act.
  • According to 40% of cyberbullying victims, people who are tech-savvy are more likely to be the perpetrators.
  • On the other hand, popular people are more likely to be targeted according to 25% of teens.
  • 10% of teens have harassed someone by text message or online.
  • Children and young people across different age groups experience cyberbullying, and the numbers are worrying. 11-12 years (9%), 13 -15-years (21%), 16 – 17 years (16%), 18 – 20 years (12%), and 21 years and older (9%).
  • Lastly, 76% of children who play games online experienced cyberbullying attacks.

Percentage of Boys and Girls Who Experienced Cyberbullying

Source: PEW Research 2018

Created by CompareCamp.com

Perpetrators of cyberbullying statistics

The following cyberbullying statistics provide key data on cyberbullies who wait to pounce on innocent targets. You’ll also learn how often they bully their victims online.

  • The majority (51%) of cyberbullying is done by a classmate. Moreover, 30% of victims are cyberbullied by a young person (strangers), 28% by an adult (stranger), and 16% by a known adult.
  • A 2017 study by Ditch Label revealed that 12% of UK citizens said they have participated in cyberbullying.
  • Studies show that perpetrators bully someone online once a year (44%), once every six months (13%), once a month (7%), once a week (7%), and daily (11%).

Sometimes, it’s a case of revenge served hot when the hunter gets hunted. When the pressure piles, some victims decide to give the bullies a dose of their own medicine.

  • 34% of teens who engaged in cyberbullying have both bullied someone and been bullied themselves.
  • Moreover, out of 83% of teens who have been bullied online, 69% have admitted to harassing someone online.
  • Approximately 30% of young people engage in cyberbullying to seek revenge on people who cyberbullied them.

It’s worrying to see that most cyberbullying victims are students and young people across different age groups. Numbers don’t lie, and several surveys have shown that children between the age of 13 and 17 years are the most vulnerable. Sometimes, popularity, being tech-savvy, and performance in school betray the child and make him/her an easy target.

Reasons For Cyberbullying Statistics

Why do bullies put their victims through hell? The cyberbullying statistics below reveal some of the top reasons and the most common types of cyberbullying.

  •  The most rampant form of cyberbullying is the offensive name-calling at 42%. Others include spreading false rumors (32%), getting explicit photos they didn’t ask for (25%), constant stalking by strangers (21%), physical threats (16%), people sharing others’ explicit images without their consent (7%).
  • Astonishingly, young people in the UK are bullied online for multiple reasons. They include appearance (50%), interest or hobbies (40%), high grades (19%), household income (14%), low grades (14%), perceived masculinity or femininity (11%), and family issues made public (12%).
  • 75% of cyberbullying victims most commonly say it was to be mean. On the other hand, 58% of the perpetrators do it to get back at someone or because they think the victim deserved it.
  • Also, 28% of cyberbullies do it because they think it’s funny, whereas 21% do it to embarrass the victims.

Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People

Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Appearance : 50%

Appearance

50%
Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Interest and hobbies: 40%

Interest and hobbies

40%
Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Good academic performance: 19%

Good academic performance

19%
Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Household income: 14%

Household income

14%
Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Poor academic performance: 14%

Poor academic performance

14%
Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Family issues made public: 12%

Family issues made public

12%
Top Reasons for Cyberbullying Among Young People
Perceived masculinity or feminity: 11%

Perceived masculinity or feminity

11%

Source: Ditch The Label

Created by CompareCamp.com

Bullies usually justify their actions by saying they are getting back at someone or because the victim deserved it. On the other hand, some do it for fun, entertainment, or out of jealousy, while others do it to show off to their friends. It’s an intricate scenario, but regardless of the different perspectives offered by the perpetrators, it’s impossible to find a justifiable reason for bullying.

Effects of Cyberbullying Statistics

Cyberbullying is an act that should be stopped using all possible means. This is because, whether it happens once or several times, it negatively impacts the victim’s interpersonal and social skills. Generally, cyberbullying has numerous negative effects. The act is associated with the development of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, delinquency, family problems, and academic difficulties.

  • Cyberbullying can have multiple adverse effects on victims, including social anxiety (37%), depression (36%), suicidal thoughts (24%), self-harm (23%), and skipping classes (21%). Others include developing antisocial behaviors (12%), developing eating disorders (10%), and running away from home (10%).
  • Teen victims are highly likely to develop mental health, social, and behavioral issues in school.
  • 64% of cyberbullying victims claim that it negatively impacts how they learn and feel secure at school.
  • Furthermore, 59% of victims experience mental health problems.
  • In addition, 29% of parents said that their children were depressed for a time after a cyberbullying attack.
  • Also, in 2018, 18% of young people reported self-harming at least once after being harassed online.
  • Besides, victims of cyberbullying are two times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • In 2018, Javeline Research found that cyberbullying victims were nine times more likely to cross paths with identity fraudsters.

Source: Ditch The Label 2018

Many children and young people have had harrowing accounts in the hands of cyberbullies. The feeling of being harassed and embarrassed online as “inescapable” can have a far-reaching effect on the victim’s social behavior and mental health. In the most extreme cases, cyberbullying has pushed children and young people on the verge of self-harm and suicide.

Prevention and Action Against Cyberbullying Statistics

There is no doubt; cyberbullying can have numerous negative effects on not only the victim but also their relatives. For this reason, all experts, psychologists, and internet safety gurus have a role to play to keep cyberbullying at bay. But, is everyone playing his/her part diligently? The following cyberbullying statistics reveal what different stakeholders are doing to curb the vice.

Cyberbullying awareness statistics

  • In 2019, 75% of people across the globe were aware of online harassment and cyberbullying.
  • Besides, in terms of global awareness, Italy and Sweden led the way at 91%. Other countries with a high degree of awareness include Chile (89%), South Africa (88%), Mexico (87%), Argentina (86%), Malaysia (85%), Serbia (85%), and the United States (85%).

The first course of action

When the deluge of tantrums and shame becomes too much to bear, victims take some measures to protect their integrity and well-being. The first course of action is to shut down the social media account or back out from social media networking.

  • In 2016, up to 20% of cyberbullying victims shut down their online accounts to hide from shame.
  • Besides, in 2016, 21% of cyberbullying victims in the US stopped using social media.
  • Also, according to 70% of young people, blocking bullies is the most effective way to stop cyberbullying.

Reporting the act

Moreover, some victims and their parents let the law take its course. To facilitate investigation and help bring the oppressors to book, some people go as far as reporting bullies to law enforcement agencies, teachers, or family members.

  • Interestingly, 63% of cyberbullying victims report it, whereas the rest (37%) remain mum about the horrifying ordeal.
  • 90% of cyberbullying victims tell a family member or teacher. Other channels pursued by victims include friends (77%), counselors (32%), police (21%), health professionals (20%), and social media (19%).
  • On the other hand, 34.9% of parents notify their child’s learning institution about the cyberbullying experience.
  • Interestingly, only 28% of teen victims dare to report cyberbullying.

Source: Ditch The Label

Parents doing an excellent job

That’s not all, parents, who are the first line of defense for kids and young people, have taken this bull by its horn. From discussing internet safety with their children to adjusting parental controls, parents have gone all out to safeguard their children.

  • Interestingly, 59% of teenagers think their parents are doing an excellent job in addressing cyberbullying.
  • Additionally, 44% of teens acclaim law enforcement agencies for their efforts in the fight against cyberbullying.
  • 46% of Asian parents talk to their children about cyberbullying all the time.
  • Besides, 59.4% of parents discuss internet safety with their children after a cyberbullying attack.
  • To curb the vice, 43.4% of parents adjust parental controls, and 3% implement new rules for digital device use.

Punishing the offender

Luckily, as shown by the following cyberbullying statistics, the efforts mentioned above are paying off. Unfortunately, however, the time to celebrate isn’t ripe yet because a big percentage of perpetrators get away with the act.

  • According to 46% of cyberbullying victims, their oppressors are caught. While on the other hand, 72% of cyberbullies say they have never been caught.
  • Also, according to 76% of people around the world, current anti-cyberbullying campaigns are insufficient.
  • Luckily, 34.6% of parents save evidence of cyberbullying to facilitate the investigation and help authorities bring the perpetrators to book.

The case of social media companies

The scale of online bullying is worrisome, and as shown by data, the fight against it is far from over. One disheartening fact is that social media companies have not put their best foot forward in tackling the issue. The responsiveness of these channels has come under scrutiny, and according to recent data, companies have yet to engage the right gear on this front.

  • 83% of young people say that social media networks should put more effort into curbing cyberbullying on their sites.
  • However, two-thirds of US teens (67%) think that social media sites are sleeping on their job when it comes to confronting the cyberbullying dragon.

Cyberbullying statistics suggest that the effort NGOs, policymakers, parents, young people, educators, and society at large are bearing fruits. However, this is not the time to rest on their laurels because nothing of significance has been achieved yet.

There is a need for all stakeholders to intensify the fight and keep pounding to win the battle against cybersecurity. In addition, the time has come for internet security experts and relevant authorities to create regulations that will dispel the ungoverned digital landscape. This way, social media companies will no longer have the freedom to “mark their own homework” when it comes to addressing cyberbullying.

It’s Time to Escalate The Fight Against Cyberbullying

Let’s face it; the evolution of the digital landscape has created opportunities for bullies to harass people in cyberspace. Additionally, the anonymity of the digital space makes it easier for perpetrators to get away with bullying. As a result, the always-connected generation is vulnerable to victimization than the previous generations were.

It is crucial that all stakeholders respond to protect young people from being mocked online. Remember, humiliation for teenagers can haunt them for a long time and have a negative effect on their development. To prevent this from happening, governments, families, schools, and industry should hold hands to establish rules and guidelines to govern the digital environment.

Social media companies should be proactive in combating cyberbullying. Ideally, the channels should be age-appropriate and demand explicit parental consent before allowing children to create accounts. Moreover, social media companies should act swiftly to solve conflict and cyberbullying concerns before they get out of hand.

On the other hand, the government should establish rules and guidelines that obliges citizens to stay safe and keep others safe. Besides, it should put young people’s experiences at the heart of its internet safety policy. Most importantly, there should be rigorous enforcement of the stipulated laws with substantial consequences for those who choose to break them.

 


References:

  1. IPSOS: Cyberbullying – A Global Advisor Survey
  2. Statista: Cyberbullying – Statistics & Facts
  3. Safety Net: Cyberbullying’s impact on young people’s mental health
  4. Teen Online & Wireless Safety Survey
  5. Ditch The Label: The Annual Bullying Survey
  6. Statista: Witnessing internet trolling on selected media in the U.S. 2017
  7. Statista: Parent awareness of cyberbullying via selected platforms 2018
  8. Exploring Adolescent Cyber Victimization in Mobile Games: Preliminary Evidence from a British Cohort
  9. Cyberbullying.org: 2019 Cyberbullying Data
  10. Pew Research: A Majority of Teens Have Experienced Some Form of Cyberbullying
  11. Telenor: Asia’s parents speak up on cyberbullying
  12. Science Daily: Nationwide teen bullying and cyberbullying study reveals significant issues impacting youth
  13. NCPC.org: Stop cyberbullying before it starts.
  14. CDC.gov: Preventing bullying
  15. Cyberbullying.org: New National Bullying and Cyberbullying Data
  16. Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Among a Representative Sample of US Adolescents, 2015
  17. Connecting Adolescent Suicide to the Severity of Bullying and Cyberbullying
  18. Javelin: 2018 Child Identity Fraud Study
  19. Statista: Cyberbullying awareness worldwide 2018, by country
  20. Comparitech: Cyberbullying facts and statistics for 2020
  21. Statista: Global opinion on the severity of cyberbullying and counter-methods 2018

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