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How Common Is Cyberbullying?

Topics: Cyberbullying
Text: Q&A

It's hard to pin down exactly how common cyberbullying is among kids. Different studies measure cyberbullying differently. The definition of what cyberbullying includes can vary in research as well. One thing that's certain is that kids who are online are at risk of being cyberbullied.

Almost 15% of kids age 9–12 experience cyberbullying, while about 16% of high school students are affected. High school and middle school teachers also report that cyberbullying happens frequently in 1 in 5 classrooms.

Some kids are more vulnerable to cyberbullying than others, like LGBTQ+ youth. Kids with disabilities and those who are seen to be different are generally at a higher risk of being bullied. And kids who experience cyberbullying are more likely to experience bullying in person at school as well.

Cyberbullying can happen anywhere kids connect online. Plenty of cyberbullying happens through text messages, apps and gaming platforms, and on social media.

Fortunately, some tech companies are changing features to try to stop online abuse. Most social media platforms allow you to block, mute, or report bad behavior. Instagram allows users to report posts and delete unwanted comments from their feeds. TikTok lets you filter out comments with negative keywords. And Roblox has different safety settings for kids 12 and under and teens.

It's never too early to talk with kids about cyberbullying and safe online behavior. Whether your kid is being bullied, witnessing it, or doing the bullying, discuss what to do if they are involved.

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