Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

Summary: Nine out of ten teenagers see bullying, cruelty or anti-social behaviour on Facebook and Twitter.

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We all know the cruel reality of the world, in that so many of us are not quite as nice as we should be.

But social networking seems to be rife with bullies and unfriendly, anti-social behaviour, according to a new report by Pew, with 88 percent of teenagers having witnessed mean or cruel activity on Facebook and Twitter.

(Source: Flickr, CC)

While nearly a third said they said they saw this kind of behaviour "sometimes", roughly one in ten said they saw this type of behaviour online "frequently", amongst the 799 teenagers aged between 12 and 17.

Experts say that combined with the ease of communication and factors of online anonymity, it is as though social networks 'invite' in negative commentary and uncouth behaviour from other users.

The research shows that overall, however, that more teenagers reported positive experiences than negative ones from interactions on social networks, with 78 percent reporting at least one good outcome, with 41 percent mentioning a negative outcome.

While Facebook has definitive reporting mechanisms and comments that are profile-linked, and the requirement to use real identities on the social network, Twitter can be used to send anonymous hate messages, and even be used to break super-injunctions and gagging orders.

According to the Washington Post, some can assume an "alter ego" on the web, criminologically speaking this is more prevalent than society often realises.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg caused controversy earlier this year when he suggested those under the age of 13 should be allowed to use the social network. Seen as a push towards attaining the billion mark, the idea was highly rebuked by many.

Currently, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) does not allow the collection or retention of data held on any child under the age of 13.Facebook adheres to this policy, but many underage users actively connect to the site on a daily basis. Facebook is said to remove hundreds of profiles a day, belonging to those under the age of 13.

But it would be wrong to blame social networks like Facebook and Twitter and others for online bullying. Of course, they can be blamed for not doing more to combat abusive comments, photos and law-breaking behaviour, but ultimately responsibility must lie with the person using the social networks.

Technology is, after all, merely an intermediary. It is people who cause harm, not technology.

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18 comments
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  • So, just ignore them...

    I did at school and they go away.

    Why should it be any different on-line - heck, blocking them on-line is a lot easier than blocking them in the playground (it doesn't hurt as much!).

    I stuck up for the other less fortunates and stopped many bullies, and I have never hit anybody in my life.
    wright_is
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    "anti-social behaviour on Facebook"

    My irony meter just broke. Spoing!
    Ronny102
  • Man we are becoimnming a nation

    Of soft over sensitive pansies. If your virtual online life is effecting your that much then its time to disconnect, block, unfriend, unfollow etc. I mean really, when people, especially teens, have access to each other 24/7/365 what did you expect to happen. It's not rocket science. It is just what happens. Time to man up America and start living a real life. Put down the keyboard, smartphone, tablet and go interact with you real life friends, if you have any of those left. COME ON!
    tgschmidt
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    Erm...all I can say is...welcome to the internet? I love the internet, but if you plan to stick around, grow some thick skin. The internet has the uncanny ability to make you actually type what you think, instead of smiling at someone saying how much you missed them when you really want to just punch them in the face. I'll take the person with visible animosity over the one hidden by a false mask any day of the week.
    Aerowind
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    of course... Mark Zuckerberg's answer to this is: "Give them access when they're 10 years old, and by the time they're teenagers this won't happen!"
    UrNotPayingAttention
  • fstwetedf

    http://urlenco.de/wgwk http://urlenco.de/wgwk
    sldgiehi
  • Nine out of ten teenagers should hang out with real people

    Nine out of ten teenagers should hang out with real people, real people they like. Facebook isn't air. You don't need it.
    cwallen19803@...
  • Grow some ovaries

    The old joke was, "Why did the French plant trees along the Champs Elysees? So the Germans could march in the shade."

    Keep up this stuff about "bullying," and they'll be telling those jokes about us. Let's see if we can stay out of namby-pamby land, ya jackwagon.
    Robert Hahn
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    Wonder how many of that 88% are bullies themselves...
    aep528
    • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

      @aep528 Yeah, you can't have 9/10 being bullied by 1/10...bullies aren't a business, they're not cranking out tons of bullying just for the heck of it.
      p0figster
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    10 out of 10 teenagers 'experience' this behavior at school in the same manner - in other words, they observe or participate in it. The percentage who are the subject of such behavior was 8%, also in line with my expectations of adolescent behavior. Bullying can and should be addressed in all forums. Facebook does not appear to be significantly different.
    DavidMcKenzie
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    This differs from the real world, how?
    sullivanjc
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    This is why I've embraced our new Google+ overlords.
    razorsyntax
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    The summary should be the headline, as that one actually reflects the info in the article: "Nine out of ten teenagers see bullying, cruelty or anti-social behaviour on Facebook and Twitter."

    "see" is not the same as "experience", and anti-social behaviour is not always the same as bullying and cruelty.

    The headline writer really should be suspended (or sacked) for twisting the (implied) meaning in that way -- but sadly the misleading headline is probably what management prefers, as the current one almost certainly brought in more viewers than the subject line would have. (I wouldn't have clicked on the headline if it was "see" instead of "experience")
    rainyt
    • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

      @rainyt right on. Considering Ziff Davis primary business is publishing the headline was odd. It did not coincide with text in article. Keelhaul all of them? Only if they in the office. :)
      LostValley
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    If you are being bullied online delete that person or persons. What's the big deal? it's not that hard. If you don't then tough.
    darkgunnerds
  • Bully Prevention Show

    Bullying is a serious problem affecting millions of children. It can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. 19,000 children attempt to commit suicide every year as a direct result of being bullied. To help combat this, I have put together a bully prevention show for elementary schools & libraries called "The STOP Bullying Show". Based out of Orlando, Florida, the show raises the awareness of bullying in a fun & engaging way; while teaching kids what they can do to put a stop to it. Highlights of the show can be seen here...

    http://youtu.be/2qAvD01RD9E
    http://www.StopBullyingShow.com
    MrMike17
  • RE: Nine out of ten teenagers experience bullying and cruelty on Facebook, Twitter

    Bullying is a serious problem affecting millions of children. It can interfere with their social and emotional development, as well as their school performance. 19,000 children attempt to commit suicide every year as a direct result of being bullied. To help combat this, I have put together a bully prevention show for elementary schools & libraries called "The STOP Bullying Show". Based out of Orlando, Florida, the show raises the awareness of bullying in a fun & engaging way; while teaching kids what they can do to put a stop to it. Highlights of the show can be seen here...

    http://youtu.be/2qAvD01RD9E
    http://www.StopBullyingShow.com
    MrMike17