A new report has revealed the true extent of online bullying as well as the impact it is having on young women. It shows that 53% of teenagers have had their photograph posted online to embarrass them, and nearly one in five teens have been threatened online.
Almost half of teenagers have been victims of cyber-bullying and their parents are worryingly ignorant about their internet use.
Research by the University of Buckingham and Sir John Cass’s Foundation reveals adults significantly underestimate the extent to which their children are bullied, or act as bullies, online.
Their report, Beyond The School Gates, shows that 53 per cent of teenagers reported that their photograph had been posted online to embarrass them, but only 22.1 per cent of parents thought this had happened to their child.
More than 300 teenagers aged between 13 to 18, and 130 parents, had detailed interviews for the research.
Dr Masa Popovac, senior psychologist at the university, said: “This shows a wide discrepancy between teenagers’ online behaviours and experiences and parental awareness.”
A SENIOR police officer in York has urged residents to be on the look out for signs of cyber bullying.
Superintendent Adam Thomson, neighbourhood policing commander for York and Selby, said the rise in online bullying was “inevitable”, and abused by “nasty and twisted people of all ages”.
Supt Thomson said the potential damage caused by old fashioned poison pen letters had grown infinitely with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms, and physical or verbal bullying at school was no longer confined to the playground.
He said: “In short, cyber bullying can happen to any of us. It is very hurtful and distressing and must be taken seriously by all concerned. Some forms of cyber bullying are criminal offences, such as harassment or threats. These should be reported directly to the police on 101 and the offender will be dealt with accordingly.