Almost one in 10 Canadian teens say they’ve experienced bullying through social networking sites

Cyberbullying includes sending, posting or sharing negative, harmful content about someone else. Almost one in 10 Canadian teens say they have been the victim of bullying through social networking sites. Major tech companies have strict policies against bullying behavior on their services, but it is hard to enforce and many rely on users to report abuse. Cyberbullying can be worse than traditional forms of bullying, as victims may not know who is targeting them. Hurtful actions have the potential to go viral, and since cyberbullying can be done from distant locations, it is easier for people to say things they wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

Fast Facts

  • Children who bully are almost 40% more likely to commit criminal offenses as adults.
  • Depending on the nature of the activity, many Criminal Code offences apply to cyberbullying.

  • More than 1/3 of Canadian teens have seen mean or inappropriate comments about someone they know.

  • Researchers say that bullying usually ends within 10 seconds of an intervention by peers.

Standing up to cyberbullying

You have the responsibility to yourself and others to be digitally smart. Digital behavior can include reading and writing on an online forum, posting a photo to Facebook and using other social media outlets. With the wide use of social media among young people today, it’s important for youth to be aware of their actions as well as those of others. They have the power to be advocates by speaking out and to help prevent cyberbullying. You can promote digital responsibility by spreading positivity and putting an end to hate by standing up to negative actions online.

Cyberbullying can have negative long-term consequences that can hinder the livelihood of children. People may not always be aware that they are cyberbullying because they are not aware of online etiquette and, moreover, the ability to be anonymous online or hide behind a computer screen can also make it easier for people to say or do things that they wouldn’t through face-to-face communication. Cyberbullying can be prevented by promoting healthy relationships and making dignity and respect core values among youth.

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