While bullying has been around for several decades now, it has evolved recently. There was a time when our teens were exposed to bullying only in the school playground or in the neighborhood. However, due to digital technology, it has taken on a new form and started following them everywhere, including homes. Cyberbullying is a serious threat surrounding our kids 24/7. And guess what? Social networks act as a breeding ground for cyberbullying. According to a research conducted by Ditch the Label, an award-winning anti-bullying charity, 69% of the teens surveyed were a victim of cyberbullying that took place on popular social media platforms. What’s even more alarming is that these statistics are increasing with time. In an effort to create awareness about the severity of the issue, we have gone through statistics and come up with three worst social outlets for kids when it comes to cyberbullying. Being responsible for ensuring your kids’ digital safety, you should be aware of these digital social platforms.
We are well-aware of the fact that Facebook is one of the leading social media networks that has given a new meaning to socialization by connecting hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. What many of us fail to realize is that it also acts as a catalyst for intimidation, insults, threats, and ridicule. An increase in the user base of Facebook during the last decade has also seen a rise in cyberbullies who frequently use this social outlet to bully and harass other users, most of which happen to be teens. The most common victims are those who upload their photos to seek appreciation, but end up getting hateful comments.
Instagram is very popular among teens. Unfortunately, cyberbullies are aware of this. Every day, thousands of images and videos are uploaded on this platform, giving cyberbullies a wonderful opportunity to target anyone. Cyberbullies generally use this platform to humiliate, harass and ridicule their target by:
- posting inappropriate photos of the target;
- leaving harsh comments on target’s photos;
- creating a fake Instagram account with target’s name;
- writing a caption on any inappropriate photo and tagging it with victim’s username.
When it comes to cyberbullying, Ask.fm does not have a good repute. It received criticism after a family blamed it for the suicide of their daughter due to the cyberbullying she was subjected to from an anonymous user. Several other parents also joined the family to fight against cyberbullying. Back then, the social platform was doing nothing to protect the safety of its users. This social network is considered a paradise for cyberbullies and stalkers as they find it easy to target youngsters while remaining anonymous.
While almost all the social networking platforms claim to have an efficient mechanism to protect the safety of its users, none of them seems to be doing enough to provide 100% protection to the younger users. This is why parents must use parental controls to monitor the social media activities of their kids as it is the only way you can protect them from cyberbullying and other such threats without being labelled as a helicopter parent.