“The findings are contained in new research released by the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) Cybersmart program.
Not only do 14-15-year-olds experience cyberbullying”, but they also engage in potentially unsafe online practices like ‘friending’ strangers and sending photos and personal information to people they have never met,” said ACMA deputy chairman, Richard Bean.
According to the ACMA’s research, more than one in five 14 to 15-year-olds has experienced cyberbullying, compared to 16% of 16 to 17-year-olds. 12% of 14 to 15-year-olds report that they have frequently witnessed cyberbullying.
The good news is that these young people are prepared to stand up and speak out about cyberbullying,” says Bean. Fourteen and fifteen-year-olds reported that they frequently took action by telling the cyberbully to stop (14%), defending the target of the bullying (20 per cent), or ignoring the cyberbullying behaviour (21%).”
Early findings from the research conducted among 1,500 eight to 17-year-olds will be presented by the ACMA today at the 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
Levels of cyberbullying among Australian children remain generally steady despite increases in online participation, indicating that the cybersafety messages underpinning programs such as Cybersmart are getting through.
“Cybersmart.gov.au has excellent resources to help young people and their carers get the information they need to empower them to handle cyberbullying situations. We are very active through our Outreach program to educate these kids face to face at schools across the country. And we are developing new programs all the time,” says Bean