Home / News / India /  India biggest hub for cyberbullying among children - here's why

Nearly 85% of children in India are victims of cyberbullying (or have cyberbullied someone else) at rates that are nearly twice as high as the global average, according to a new study. Cybersecurity company McAfee's report, "Cyberbullying in Plain Sight", is based on a survey of 11,687 parents and their children from 10 different countries that was performed between June 15 and July 5.

Spreading false rumours was identified as a prevalent kind of cyberbullying in India at 39 percent, being excluded from groups and conversations was recorded at 35 percent, and name-calling was reported at 34 percent. Notably, 45 percent of Indian students reported hiding their experiences with cyberbullying from their parents, maybe as a result of the general lack of discussion.

Cyberbullying is the act of harassing a person or group online and encompasses, among other things, racism, sexual harassment, personal insults and trolling.

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Similar research on Indian children's internet risk exposure was released by McAfee in May 2022, along with recommendations for parents on how to keep their kids safe from cyberbullying. The use of smartphones by children between the ages of 10 and 14 in India is at 83%, which is 7% higher than the global average of 76 percent. This puts them at serious risk for online dangers, primarily because of the security gap between parents and children.

According to the survey, Indian children see and suffer the highest cyberbullying across practically all social media and messaging platforms, with 42% of kids being the subject of racial cyberbullying, a startling 14% higher rate than the rest of the globe.

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Apart from racism, the most extreme kinds of cyberbullying reported were trolling (36 percent), personal attacks (29 percent), sexual harassment (30 percent), threats of personal damage (28 percent), and doxing (23 percent), all of which were almost twice as common as the global average.

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"Indian children reported cyberbullying up to 1.5 times more than children in other countries across fourteen surveyed platforms, ranging from Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and WhatsApp. The one exception is TikTok, which remains banned in India," the report said.

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According to the report, 58 percent of kids, as opposed to the 33 percent global average, stated they had deleted a social media account because of cyberbullying. Additionally, 87 percent of respondents stated they discuss cyberbullying with their peers, which is 25 percent higher than the global average of 62 percent.

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