Cyberbullying Facts
Cyberbullying Facts

28 Informative Cyber Bullying Facts

Madeline Thatcher
By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published September 8, 2019Updated March 22, 2020

Did you know that 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online? Or that over 25% of adolescents and teens have been repeatedly bullied over the Internet or through their cell phones? Unfortunately, over half of young people do not tell their parents. Indeed, in the age of the Internet, cyberbullying and the effects of cyberbullying are increasingly pervasive and pernicious. Learn cyberbullying facts, bullying definitions, and bullying statistics to help protect yourself and others from this form of abuse.

  • Cyberbullying is defined as "willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices." It is a specific form of bullying because of its targeted use of technology.[8]
  • Cyberbullying encompasses many different tactics, including "outing" (the sharing of highly personal information like sexual orientation or a home address), "trolling" (posting inflammatory messages intended to provoke an angry or embarrassed response) , and "revenge porn," or the forwarding of sexually explicit messages and images.[1]
  • The first studies on bullying of any kind did not take place until the 1980s.[7]
  • Cyberbullying began its rise during the 1990s, when chat rooms and other online social forums became available to internet users.[7]
  • In one study, almost 75% of students aged 12–17 reported experiencing traditional bullying at school; 34% of students said they had specifically experienced cyberbullying.[6]
  • While traditional bullying has been linked to higher rates of suicide ideation and attempts, the rates from cyberbullying are much higher.[1]
  • The vast majority of students who reported being victims of cyberbullying indicated that posting mean-spirited online comments was the most popular method.[6]
  • Bullying Facts Online
    Bullies who act out in real life often take their tactics to the Internet.
  • Cyberbullying is often easier to hide than traditional bullying (due to its general anonymous nature), and many studies acknowledge that its frequency is most likely underreported.[1]
  • Instagram is the most common social media app used for cyberbullying. Facebook and Snapchat came in at numbers two and three.[3]
  • Young people who admit to being a traditional bully are also more likely to commit bullying online and through other technological mediums.[6]
  • Cyberbullying often hits a "peak" between the seventh and tenth grades, usually tapering to lower levels for younger and older age groups.[1]
  • Girls are more likely to be the victims of cyberbullying, although boys are not far behind. Boys are more likely than girls to cyberbully others.[6]
  • The higher likelihood that a woman will be cyberbullied has been linked to women spending more time on social media than men.[1]
  • Cyberbullying perpetrators and victims both have noted negative moods or feelings in relation to their participation or victimhood.[1]
  • Cyberbullying does not require physical strength in order to dominate; smaller, more tech-savvy people have found ways to intimidate others that were not possible a few decades ago.[1]
  • Cyberbullying LGBT
    LGBTQ+ teens have an extremely high risk for being cyberbullied.
  • People who identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying than their straight or cisgender peers.[1]
  • People who are both a cyberbully and a cyberbullying victim are more emotionally and psychologically troubled than those who fall into only one category.[1]
  • While females, nonwhites, nonheterosexuals, and nonsingles are most likely to be the victims of cyberstalking or cyberbullying, there is no variation in the type of offenders, suggesting that the same demographic targets all of these marginalized groups.[1]
  • Children and teenagers involved with cyberbullying show higher rates of social anxiety than children and teenagers who do not participate, suggesting that online interaction was a better avenue for this demographic to both bully and be bullied.[5]
  • Adolescents who are "badly bullied" are less successful at getting bullies to stop their aggressive behavior than those who are only "mildly bullied."[4]
  • People who have been badly bullied are twice as likely to recognize when another person is also being victimized.[4]
  • More than 1/3 of teenagers will not speak to an adult if they witness or are the victim of cyberbullying.[3]
  • Most teenage users of social media sites believe that the apps are not doing enough to combat cyberbullying on their platforms.[3]
  • The Internet has over three billion users, making cyberbullying a trend social scientists believe will continue well into the future.[1]
  • If you're insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.

    - Phil Lester

  • While cyberbullying is generally considered a problem for teenagers (middle school and high school age), both college students and adults also report instances of cyberbullying.[1]
  • Social scientists believe screening questions about cyberbullying should be included in pediatric visits for those in age groups most likely to be affected. It could be one way to combat the rise in its popularity. Similar programs have reduced teen dating violence and sexual assault.[1]
  • As of January 2015, only 22 states had passed laws to criminalize cyberbullying and other forms of online harassment. However, every state in the United States has either policies or laws in place to prosecute traditional bullying.[1][2]
  • Many schools are introducing "geofencing," a means of prohibiting the use of certain apps and websites on school grounds that may be employed to cyberbully others.[1]

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