Half are cyberbullied: How young people behave online

2018-07-10, 16:06

Cybercom has conducted a study we call Youth Online to gain better understanding of how adolescents use and relate to the internet. Based on about thirty questions about young people’s attitudes and use of the internet, the study shows that nearly half have been cyberbullied. Seven out of ten also report that they know someone who has been cyberbullied or treated unkindly online.


Have you been bullied or been treated unkindly online?


Do you know anyone who has been bullied or treated unkindly online?


The study addresses several other aspects that can be related to “netiquette,” i.e., how people should behave online. For example, more than one third report that they have written something on the internet that they would not otherwise have said. Fifteen percent also say they have done something unkind to someone else online that they regret.


Have you done something unkind to someone else online that you regret?




Have you ever written something on the internet that you would not have said IRL?



Cybercom CEO Niklas Flyborg reacts to the figures and talks about collaborative efforts that can help promote change:

“I am convinced that our industry can do even more to promote a positive climate online for young people. We can also cooperate more with organisations like Hello World and Area 08, which are outstanding arenas for increasing our understanding of how adolescents want to use the internet in an uplifting way. I believe we will see more constructive partnerships among schools, public authorities and businesses in the future.”


Half have been cyberbullied, but almost all know how to behave

Social media, where the main content it pictures and video clips, now dominates the internet. But far from all content is okay, according to the adolescents who responded to the survey. A full 29 percent say that they have had photos or videos of themselves published online against their will. Nearly as many, 22 percent, report that they have published content that they later regretted.


Have you ever posted pictures or videos of yourself online that you later regretted?



Has someone else ever posted pictures or videos of you online when you did not want them to?



The study also reveals a gap between theory and practice. Even though only 4 percent say they have not learned how to behave online, nearly half, 42 percent, report that they have been cyberbullied. On the other hand, seven out of ten have clear rules set by their parents for things like screen time and what they are allowed to publish online. That figure is even higher for 12-year-olds, 84 percent of whom have rules, but less than half of 16-year-olds have rules at home.


Do you and your parents have any rules about your internet use?



Have you learned what you are allowed to/not allowed to do and should/should not do on the internet?



Facts about the study:

Youth Online includes 1,049 interviews with people aged 12 to 17 who live in Sweden. Commissioned by Cybercom, the study was conducted during the period of 22-30 May 2018 by market research firm Userneeds.

Download the entire Youth Online study here: https://www.cybercom.com/youthonline/