Cyberbullying Statistics

Cyberbullying is increasingly pervasive as technology and social media evolve. This type of bullying is unique because it can happen around the clock and while the victim is in complete isolation. Cyberbullying often follows technological or social trends of which parents are not yet aware.

There are clear laws against harassment and traditional bullying. Still, it's complicated for states and schools to separate self-expression from online harassment. Cyberbullying allegations may lead to debates and differing opinions. But, the undebatable fact is that online harassment affects more online users every year. Many of its victims are minors.

Helpful Cyberbullying Statistics

The Cyberbullying Research Center and organizations like the National Crime Prevention Council and Pew Research Center actively study these trends.

These statistics on cyberbullying shed some light on how large the problem is becoming across the nation — for students and adults alike:

Cyberbullying Trends on Social Media

Social media plays an outsized role in cyberbullying. A whopping 90% of teens recognize that online bullying is a problem that affects kids their age.

The statistics on cyberbullying among teens and young adults combined with their social media usage portend a troubling future. The Pew Research's Teens, Social Media and Technology Report of 2023 revealed the most popular social media apps among teens as :

  • TikTok: (63%)
  • Snapchat: (60%)
  • Instagram: (59%)

Approximately 50% (average) of all teens Pew surveyed use one of these social media platforms daily. This increases the risk of their exposure to cyberbullying and its deleterious impacts, including anxiety and suicide. A recent National Institutes of Health study found a correlation between cyberbullying and the risk of suicide for teens.

Speaking daily with your child can help keep them safe. According to Enough is Enough, 60% of students who were victims of cyberbullying reported it to an adult. Keep your ears and eyes open and immediately act if any scenario seems like cyberbullying.

Types of Cyberbullying

There are various forms of cyberbullying to be aware of. Becoming aware is important to combating this issue and promoting a safer online environment. Here are common types:

  • HarassmentSending hurtful or threatening online messages
  • Flaming: Hostile online arguments to humiliate someone or hurtful comments about personal characteristics
  • Outing: Sharing personal info (typically sexual orientation) without consent, harming reputation
  • Impersonation: Creating fake profiles to post harmful content
  • Exclusion: Purposefully isolating or encouraging others to exclude someone
  • Cyberstalking: Obsessively tracking online activity and sending distressing messages
  • Trolling: Posting offensive content to provoke emotional responses
  • Catfishing: Pretending to be someone else online
  • Doxing: Publishing private info with harmful intent
  • Online Shaming: Publicly humiliating someone through social media
  • Cyberbullying by Proxy: Enlisting others to cyberbully on one's behalf
  • Gaming CyberbullyingHarassing other players in online games
  • School Cyberbullying: Bullying peers using digital means

Remember, cyberbullying has serious consequences, and there are laws to address it. High school students are vulnerable, so prevention and intervention are vital.

What To Do After a Cyberbullying Incident

Dealing with cyberbullying is a challenge involving various people and aspects, such as:

  • Family
  • Children
  • Educators
  • Schools
  • Online platforms
  • Legal considerations, including the rights of minors and criminal law

Legal action may become necessary to address serious cyberbullying incidents in some instances.

Every state in the United States has its own set of cyberbullying laws. To better understand the potential consequences and actions you can take, familiarize yourself with your state's specific laws. If you find yourself confronted with online bullying, consider the following steps based on your situation.

If My Child Was the Cyberbully

  • Initiate a conversation with your child to discuss the bullying behavior and its consequences.
  • If you believe your child's actions threaten their safety or that of another minor, contact the police.
  • Ensure your child's well-being and seek medical or mental health attention if necessary.
  • Document any relevant evidence to aid in addressing the situation.

If Someone Cyberbullied My Child

  • Engage in a conversation with your child to understand what happened.
  • If there were threats to your child's safety, promptly notify law enforcement.
  • Take immediate steps to ensure your child's safety.
  • Seek medical attention for incidents of self-harm and mental health assistance if needed.
  • Document any evidence related to the cyberbullying incident.

Who To Inform

  • In cases involving minors, cooperating and attempting to mitigate potential legal consequences is often beneficial.
  • Notify the parents, employers, teachers, or organizational directors if the cyberbullying situation involves minors under their care.
  • If the incident pertains to a schoolmate, coworker, or peer from an organization or activity, inform the respective teacher, employer, or program leader.
  • Most social media platforms offer reporting mechanisms for abuse or harassment. Consider reporting the incident to the platform administrators.
  • If you are contemplating legal action, you are not obligated to inform anyone.

Addressing cyberbullying requires a thoughtful and comprehensive approach, considering the welfare of those involved and the legal implications. Stay informed about your state's laws and act accordingly to protect the well-being of all parties affected.

How Can I Keep My Child Safe From Cyberbullying?

Everyone needs to be a good digital citizen. Promoting healthy relationships with others is the first step to stop bullying and ensure people report abuse immediately. To help protect your child, parents can also choose to:

  • Monitor all social networking sites and apps.
  • Monitor what their child does online and on their cell phones.
  • Manage their child's logins on social media sites.
  • Block users who are trolling or bullying.
  • Request to see the text messages and instant messages their child receives.
  • Recommend that their children keep accounts private.
  • Recommend that their children do not send friend requests to, accept friend requests from, or follow people they do not know.
  • Turn off all comment sections or tell children to avoid reading hurtful comments or commenting on sites.
  • Report online bullying to the channel administrator or customer service department.
  • Use "report abuse" features on posts or "report this person" options under usernames.

While these tips can help prevent an incident, remember that cyberbullying is never the victim's fault. Online safety and respect should be a right for everyone.

Cyberbullying may happen online, but most incidences involve people who know each other in person. For example, a child may take their dislike for a classmate online. Telling police, other parents, and school authorities can help stop a bad situation and prevent more serious scenarios from occurring.

When To Call an Attorney

It's advisable to contact an attorney if you believe cyberstalking or cyberbullying is happening. It is particularly important to contact an attorney if you are considering pursuing criminal charges against the bully. There are state laws related to cyberbullying. If no legal action is taken, you will likely deal with the school district or organization's disciplinary board. Legal action can be crucial in protecting the rights and well-being of young people and adolescents affected by online harassment.

Many states and organizations take cases of cyberbullying very seriously. No matter what side of the situation you and your family are on, speaking with an attorney is crucial before taking action. Consulting with an attorney who understands online harassment laws is an important place to start. They can help you understand what you may be facing and recommend the best action to protect your child's best interests.

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