Cyberbullying a problem around the globe: poll

Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:28pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 10 percent of parents around the world say their child has been cyberbullied and nearly one-fourth know a youngster who has been a victim, according to a new Ipsos/Reuters poll.

And more than three-quarters of people questioned in the global survey thought cyberbullying differed from other types of harassment and warranted special attention and efforts from parents and schools.

"The data clearly shows an appetite among global citizens for a targeted response to cyberbullying," said Keren Gottfried, of the global research firm Ipsos, which conducted the poll.

But, she added, whether or not schools live up to this mandate is in the hands of educators.

The online poll of more than 18,000 adults in 24 countries, 6,500 of whom were parents, showed the most widely reported vehicle for cyberbullying was social networking sites likes Facebook, which were cited by 60 percent.

Mobile devices and online chat rooms were a distant second and third, each around 40 percent.

While the report showed that awareness of cyberbullying was relatively high, with two-thirds saying they heard, read or had seen information on the phenomenon, cultural and geographic differences abounded.

In Indonesia, 91 percent said they knew about cyberbullying, in which a child, group of children or younger teen intentionally intimidates, threatens or embarrasses another child or group through the use of information technology such as social media or mobile devices.

Australia followed at 87 percent, while Poland and Sweden trailed slightly behind. But only 29 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 35 percent in Russia, had heard of cyberbullying.   Continued...