Poll: Young Americans say online bullying a serious problem

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV indicates teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don't think they'll be the ones targeted for digital abuse.

The poll also finds that about half of both young people and their parents view social media as having a mostly negative effect on the younger generation.

Fifteen-year-old Matty Luby says she's learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies.

Roughly three-quarters of 15- to 26-year-olds say that online bullying and abuse is a serious problem for their peers. Seven percent of young people say they have already been a victim of cyberbullying, with young women (11 percent) more likely to say they were bullied than young men (3 percent).

The poll shows the majorities of both young people and their parents think parents have a responsibility to help prevent online harassment.

The long-documented problem with online bullying is that it is relentless. It doesn't let up when kids get home from school, safely in their homes, or even when they move away from their tormentors. Still, like Luby, many young people tend to be more resilient to trolling from strangers online.

 

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Dawn Kamber