19-year-old men biggest victims of online bullying: study

Online bullying

Nineteen-year-old men are the biggest victims of online bullying, the majority of which takes place on popular social networking site Facebook, a new UK study has claimed.

After Facebook, Twitter was the next most frequent face for bullying - or trolling - to take place, according to the study of more than 2,000 teenagers by Opinium Research.

The study revealed that 85 per cent of 19-year-old men had experienced some form of online bullying.

Of those who admitted they had been bullied, 87 per cent said it had happened on Facebook, 19 per cent on Twitter and 13 per cent on BlackBerry Messenger.

Of all the teenagers who said they had been bullied, only 37 per cent had reported it to the social network where it took place.

Only 17 per cent said that their first reaction would be to tell their parents, and just 1 per cent said it would be to tell their teacher, The Telegraph reported.

The study was carried out for knowthenet.org.uk, a free online site offering advice on how to stay safe online.

Media psychologist Arthur Cassidy said online bullying could have a "massive impact" on older male teenagers.

"Suicide rates are particularly high amongst this demographic, so it's worrying to hear that teenagers on the whole are choosing to deal with internet abuse themselves

rather than speaking to parents or teachers for help," he said.

"Whilst some might expect girls to be more vulnerable online, this study shows that older boys are more at risk from trolling and cyber-bullying," he said.

"Many boys feel under pressure to demonstrate their bravado, particularly on the web, but this attitude and male deficiency in coping strategies can make them more vulnerable and open to trolling," he said.

"There is no place for harassment on Facebook, but unfortunately a small minority of malicious individuals exist online, just as they do offline," a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying by the paper.

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