Most kids face cyberbullying

bullied kid

Over 60 per cent of children face bullying as severe as death threats when using social networking and other websites, according to a new report from Beatbullying to mark Anti-Bullying Week.

The report showed Bebo was the worst social networking site for bullying in the UK, with one in three of teens targeted by cyberbullying experiencing it on that site - with some apparently dubbing it "Bullybo".

However, MSN's instant messanger was even worse. Of those teens hurt by bullying, 57.9 per cent were targeted over IM. Some 11 per cent were bullied over Facebook and 10 per cent over MySpace.

Bullies were also using site creator Piczo to create fake accounts, and posting footage on YouTube.

EmmaJane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying, said that bullying online was as "traumatic" as in person incidents, and urged social networking and other sites to do what they could.

"In the past year alone, we've witnessed tragic suicides resulting from relentless online hate campaigns," she said in a statement.

"Suicide is an extreme manifestation, but research already underway shows us that increased isolation, poor educational attainment and self-destructive behaviour all readily follow cyberbullying," she added.

Bullying targets

The report also found that seven in 10 knew the bully targeting them, with a third of attacks starting up offline.

One in five have seen a hate group or site, while a quarter have been sent a video of someone being bullied. The report also found that girls are most likely to be targeted online by bullies - but are also more likely to be bullies themselves.

Sadly, students with special needs and those receiving free school meals were 16 per cent and 13 per cent respectively more likely to be bullied, as were those from a non-British ethnic background, the report said.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the scale of the problem, 69 per cent of cyberbullied teens would be happy to work with a cybermentor, such as the programme offered by Beatbullying.

"Beatbullying's CyberMentors empowers young people to help their peers deal with of all forms of bullying and with over 190,000 children seeking help in the first nine months, it's clear there is a real demand and need for this," Cross added, calling for more funding to expand the scope of the project.