Youngsters call for cyberbullying action from social media giants

Cyberbullying web

Companies such as Facebook and twitter need to do more to help children, a study has claimed

5th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The majority of youngsters want social media giants to do more to tackle cyberbullying.

Eight in 10 of young people think that companies such as twitter and Facebook need to do more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms, according to a poll by charities YoungMinds and The Children’s Society.

The survey of over 1000 people aged 11-25, reveals the extent to which cyberbullying – from receiving threatening messages to having their account hacked – is affecting teenagers and young people.

Some 46% said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages via social media, email or text and 14% of respondents said they had experienced online bullying in the last month.

However, young people still felt positively about social media with 60% saying it had a positive effect on their relationship with their friends.

The majority of respondents (82%) also thought social media companies should do more to promote good mental health.

Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: “From making plans with friends to scrolling through feeds, social media is a huge part of everyday life for young people. But it does come with constant pressure to create a personal brand from a young age, live their lives in the public eye and be constantly available.

“Young people must feel safe online, and more needs to be done to prevent and respond to cyberbullying when it happens. But we’re also excited to see how this inquiry can work with social media companies to find innovative ways to promote mental health among young people, empowering them to understand how to respond to what they see online and cope with the pressures that social media brings.”

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: “The summer holiday will have been a welcome break from bullying in the playground for many children. But the reality is that social media has meant bullying for some has become inescapable. Today’s findings reveal the negative impact on children and young people’s well-being. The fact that young people themselves are saying social media giants must do more should be seen as a wakeup call.

YoungMinds and The Children’s Society carried out the survey ahead of a joint inquiry into the impact of cyberbullying on young people’s mental health, being led by Conservative MP Alex Chalk.

The survey was hosted on SurveyGizmo and completed by 1,089 young people aged 11-25, including over 500 people aged under 18.