85% Indian Children Experience Cyberbullying, Highest In World: Survey

About 85 percent of children in India have reported being cyberbullied, the highest in the world, according to a new survey released by global computer security firm McAfee Corp on Monday. Titled ‘Cyberbullying in Plain Sight’, the report is based on a 10-country survey to uncover new and “internal trends” in cyberbullying.

The study noted that the number of Indian children who reported being cyberbullied was twice the international average. About 45 percent of children in India said they had cyberbullied a stranger, compared to 17 percent globally, and 48 percent said they had cyberbullied someone they knew, compared to 21 percent of children in other countries.

The top three forms of cyberbullying reported in India are spreading false rumors (39 percent), exclusion from groups or conversations (35 percent) and name calling (34 percent). The survey was conducted from June 15 to July 5 by market research firm MSI-ACI for McAfee Corp. It invited parents of children ages 10 to 18 to complete an online questionnaire. It surveyed a total of 11,687 parents and their children from 10 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, India, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Mexico.

The study also said Indian children faced the highest number of “extreme forms of cyberbullying” in the world, including racism, sexual harassment and threats of physical harm. About 42 percent of children in India have been targeted by racist cyberbullying, which is 14 percent higher than the rest of the world (at 28 percent). About 36 percent of Indian children reported being trolled, 29 percent said they experienced personal attacks, 30 percent were sexually harassed, 28 percent received threats of personal harm and 23 percent were victims of doxing. All of these forms of cyberbullying stood at twice the global average, the study noted.

In the absence of dialogue and support, the study says Indian children are coping with cyberbullying on their own. Nearly three in five (58 percent) children said they deleted their social media accounts to avoid cyberbullying, and 87 percent said they talked to their friends about it.