Just An Online Minute... Study: Increased Internet Usage Raises Teen Risks
The report, based on a survey of 935 U.S. teenagers between 12 and 17, found that 39% of teens who use social networking have experienced some form of "cyberbullying," compared to 23% of those who don't use social networking. For instance, 16% of those who use social networking sites say they've received a threatening e-mail, IM or text message, compared to 8% of those who don't use social networking sites. Nine percent of teen social networking users say an embarrassing photo of them has surfaced online, versus 2% of the non-social networking site users.
Overall, about one in three teens -- whether they participate in social networking or not -- report that someone has harassed or menaced them online (by threatening them, forwarding private messages, spreading rumors or posting embarrassing photos).
As marketers are learning, teens report that messages can very quickly go viral online. "In the past, the materials of bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed around," states the report. "Now, with a few clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared with hundreds via email or millions through a website, online profile or blog posting."
Still, in some relatively good news for Web 2.0 boosters, a majority of teens -- 67% -- say that bullying offline is still more common than on the Web.