More than 5 in every 10 Indian children bullied online: Survey

Last Updated 27 June 2012, 13:28 IST

Over half of the Indian children who surf Internet face cyber bullying -- getting threatened or being harassed online -- a Microsoft study has found.

According to Microsoft's 'Global Youth Online Behavior Survey' of 25 countries, India ranked third with 53 per cent of respondents (children aged between 8-17) saying they have been bullied online, behind China (70 per cent) and Singapore (58 per cent).

Cyber bullying can be defined as use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person. The survey was conducted among more than 7,600 children aged 8 to 17 years across 25 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, the UAE, the UK and the US.

The survey focused on how kids are treating one another online and whether parents are addressing online behaviours. In India, the survey found that more than five in 10 children surveyed said they have experienced what adults might consider online bullying, while a similar number said they had done something their parents may consider online bullying.

About 45 per cent of parents (respondents) said they teach their children online manners. The survey showed that about 38 per cent of the schools (attended by respondents) have formal policies on cyber bullying.

"Protecting children from online bullying is a shared responsibility. Everyone plays a role: parents, educators, school counsellors, coaches, online safety advocates, industry, law enforcement, government and children themselves," Microsoft Director (Trustworthy Computing) Jacqueline Beauchere said.

Globally, the survey indicated that while children want to talk to parents about the issue, only 29 per cent of the children said their parents have talked to them about protecting themselves online.

The survey said it was important for adults (parents and school) to discuss the issue with the children and provide guidance on how to identify and respond to a range of online behaviors from online meanness to bullying and beyond.

(Published 27 June 2012, 13:11 IST)

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