Campaign urges young people to help combat cyber bullying

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A new campaign has been launched urging young people to help their friends if they are being bullied online.

The ‘Watch Your Space’ campaign is being launched to coincide with Safer Internet Day tomorrow.

It has launched a report which found that a quarter of children in Ireland aged between 9 and 16 have experienced bullying.

The report by EU Kids OnIine says that this figure is higher than average in the European Union.

The campaign aims to get young people to intervene when they see cyber-bullying.

The study conducted detailed, face-to-face surveys in homes with 9 to 16-year-old internet users from 25 countries.

A total of 25,142 children and their parents were interviewed during 2010.

Irish children at ‘some risk’ online

12% of European 9-16-year-olds say that they have been bothered or upset by something on the internet but most children do not report being bothered or upset by going online.

While half of online bullies say they have also bullied people face-to-face, and half of online bullying victims have been bullied face-to-face; also, among those who have bullied others online, nearly half have themselves been bullied online.

The report says countries can be grouped into 4 categories:

  • “Lower use, lower risk” countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary).
  • “Lower use, some risk” countries (Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey).
  • “Higher use, some risk” countries (Cyprus, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, the UK).
  • ““Higher use, higher risk” countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Sweden).

The survey found that the socio-economic formation, regulatory framework, technological infrastructure and educational system of a country all shape children’s online risks.

It says that high internet use in a country is rarely associated with low risk; and high risk is rarely associated with low use; rather, across countries, the more use, the more risk.

Read the findings here

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