Fighting cyberbullying
through mobile technologies


Fighting cyberbullying through mobile technologies


Cyberbullying can take many forms like mockery, insults, rumours or threats and it can have serious and lasting consequences on its victims. Although often an extension of offline bullying, online bullying presents specific challenges to those involved, often due to the difficulty to track, record and monitor the perpetuators of cyberbullying. Mobile technologies need to be for these reasons at the centre of prevention, awareness and reduction of the existing levels of cyberbullying.

The challenge

Cyberbullying consists of repeated verbal and psychological harassment carried out by an individual or group against others. It can take many forms like mockery, insults, rumours or threats and it can have serious and lasting consequences on its victims.

Although often an extension of offline bullying, online bullying presents specific challenges to those involved, but mostly to the victims and their families, often due to the difficulty to track, record and monitor the perpetuators of cyberbullying. Mobile technologies need to be for these reasons at the centre of prevention, awareness and reduction of the existing levels of cyberbullying.


Why it matters


The Cyberbullying Research Center in the United States has found that about 28% of teenager students have experienced cyberbullying while 10% admit to have done cyberbullying to others. The most common type of cyberbullying takes form through mean, hurtful comments and spreading rumours.

The British newspaper Daily Mail reports that nowadays cyberbullying accounts for 65% of teenagers abuse. Of those who admitted they had been bullied, 87% say it happened on Facebook and 19% on Twitter. Male teenagers, more precisely, 19 year old boys emerge as the biggest victims of online bullying.

Mobile phone cameras are also a growing problem. As much as 10% of the students feel threatened, embarrassed or uncomfortable by a photo taken of them using a mobile phone camera, as they have little control on how it will be used.

China is by far the country where children suffer more from these threats (around 70%) according to a study made by Microsoft. It is followed by Singapore (58%), India (53%) and Argentina (52%).

In Spain, up to 81% of children between 8 and 17 years admits to be worried about cyberbullying and 19% admits to harass or have harassed someone on the Web.


What we are looking for


Cyberbullying affects a large percentage of children and teenagers and studies show that this number will keep raising. Its consequences can be devastating and lifelong for the victims and families, but also to the school communities that do not tackle problems as soon as they emerge. Cyberbullying often leads to a lowering self-esteem, increasing depression and feelings of powerlessness.

Children engage with cyberspace at an increasingly younger age, often before having the tools and knowledge to deal, understand and manage appropriately their online usage. Parents are also often ignorant of group dynamics or even which platforms and how their children use social media. As mobile technologies become ubiquitous in the children’s lives, it is important that they can be protected from cyberbullying, understand what it means and how it takes place so that the prevalence of this problem can be minimised.


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