Increasing trend of cyberbullying by teenagers

But she said cyberbullying should never be attributed to self-harm. In any case, parents should seek professional treatment for their children, she said.

One of the most high-profile cases of digital self-harm was in 2013 when 14-year-old British girl Hannah Smith received cruel and harassing messages such as “drink bleach” and “die”. , committed suicide. — on her social media site.

Research revealed that 98% of the messages were from the same IP address as her own computer.

Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Wyman

US study published in Child and Adolescent Mental Health In July, young people who engaged in digital self-harm or online self-bullying were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts.

A sample of 4972 Americans aged 12 to 17 found no difference in their experience of digital self-harm by gender or race, but non-heterosexual adolescents engaged in the behavior. Specifically, 15.5% of non-heterosexual students said they had anonymously posted something mean online about themselves, whereas Among heterosexual adolescents, it was 8%.


In another sign of this growing trend, 14-year-olds were found to have self-harmed themselves digitally more than twice as often as 17-year-olds.

Meanwhile, new figures from eSafety show that the number of online safety regulators reporting to under-18 cyberbullying schemes is up 69% in 2021 from 2019 and up 80% in the first half of the year compared to the same period. Increased has. 2021 years.

This may indicate an increase in bullying, but may also be due in part to a growing awareness that reporting to eSafety is optional. eSafety does not determine whether cyberbullying is self-inflicted or perpetrated by a third party, but the office has the power to mandate the prompt removal of material from online platforms.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the peak age for cyberbullying is around 14 years old, and believes this increase has been fueled by increased online exposure, with parents becoming more aware of their children than they were before the pandemic. He says he’s become more tolerant of screens and social media.

“Now we are starting to get on the other side of the pandemic, with many parents saying they are finding it hard to reverse this increased screen time and social media usage,” Inman said. Grant said.

Top 5 signs your child is being targeted by cyberbullying

  • They look sadder, lonely, angry, worried and upset than usual
  • Unexpected changes in friendship groups or unwillingness to be with people even though they are friends
  • Personality changes, becoming withdrawn or anxious
  • Changes in sleep patterns, diet, and energy levels
  • Be private about your cell phone use and online behavior
  • Source: e-safety

5 tips for parents to protect their kids from online harm

  • Monitor and limit what your kids do online with Parental Controls on apps and devices
  • Set time limits for device use outside of class
  • Keep your child in an open area when using the device
  • Turn on privacy settings to limit who can contact your child in apps and games
  • Watch together, play together, and participate in your child’s online activities
  • Source: e-safety

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Increasing trend of cyberbullying by teenagers

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