Mumbai: Three out of
10 parents in India say their children have been victims of cyberbullying and a majority of them through social networking
sites like Facebook, according to an online global poll released
The survey done by Ipsos - a global market research company -
found that 45 percent of Indian parents believed a child in their
community was being cyberbullied, while a majority (53 percent)
parents are aware of the issue.
Cyberbullying is when a child or group of children -- under the
age of 18 -- intentionally intimidate, offend, threaten or
embarrass another child or group of kids specifically through the
use of information technology, such as a website or chat room on
internet, a cellular telephone or another mobile device.
The poll surveyed 18,000 adults in 24 countries, 6,500 of whom
were parents. It showed the most widely reported vehicle for
cyberbullying was social networking sites like Facebook, which 60
Globally, mobile devices and online chat rooms were a distant
second and third, each around 40 percent.
In India, it is evenly split between social networking sites (55
percent) and online chat rooms (54 percent).
"The findings are quite surprising, which revealed that the
frequency of cyberbullying in India was higher than that of
western nations, including the US (15 percent), Britain (11
percent) and France (5 percent). Prior to this survey, there has
been little evidence to suggest cyberbullying is a major issue in
the country," said Biswarup Banerjee, head - marketing
communications, Ipsos in India.
"The key to this study is that it measures parental awareness of
cyberbullying, not actual rates of the behaviour. While we can't
speculate on what actually happens, it is quite possible that the
proportion of children actually being cyberbullied is, in fact,
understated, since we are speaking with the parents, not the
kids," he said.
A strong majority (77 percent) of global citizens say
cyberbullying is a fundamentally different type of bullying that
needs special attention from parents and schools, in addition to
existing efforts to address bullying in general.