Study: SA has high cyberbullying rate
STUDIES suggest many parents believe not enough is being done to reduce the incidence of cyberbullying.
A recent Ipsos Global Advisor study was carried out in 28 countries including South Africa and found even though awareness of cyberbullying had increased by 9% from 2011, the majority of parents believed anti-bullying measures taken were insufficient.
The study defined cyberbullying as when a child or group of children under the age of 18 intentionally intimidate, offend, threaten or embarrass another child or group of children, specifically through the use of information technology.
South Africa was recently hit by chilling images and videos of children bullying each other, which went viral on social media.
According to the study – which was conducted online and therefore represented the views of those who regularly had access to the internet – South Africa ranked second-highest in awareness of cyberbullying after Sweden and Italy.
South Africa showed the highest prevalence of cyberbullying, based on over half of parents knowing a child in their community who suffered such abuse. The figure showed an increased of 24% from 2011.
Of the South Africans surveyed, a quarter said their children had been cyberbullied.
“We are a vulnerable society and bullies exploit the situation,” said Mari Harris, public affairs head at Ipsos SA.