80% of Romanian teenagers under 18 were harassed online, according a study made by Bitdefender, which shows that the main weapons for online attacks are regarding people’s looks and way of dressing (67%), hobbies and day to day preoccupations (30%), the material situation of their families (13%), school results (12%) and sexual orientation (8%).
Two thirds of those attacked online didn’t mention that to anyone, because they were afraid, lack trust they could change something or didn’t believe it is necessary to involve other people.
Most popular social networks where cyber-bullying is happening are Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, most used ways to spread the phenomena being menacing and negative messages via private channels, followed by negative comments to photos and identity theft.
According to the study, 65% admit they were directly affected by the online bullying and noticed also involuntary changes in their way of conducting following the aggression. Most say the incidents decreased their self-trust and made them isolate, around 20% ended up depressed and 5% compensated lack of online friends by consuming drugs and alcohol.
The study was made by Tribal Worldwide România for Bitdefender, via an online questionnaire filled in between September and October by a representative sample of 800 young people under 18 y.o.
Bitdefender started, in November, the #nutastaură (n.red. don’t type hate), aimed to increase awareness over cyber-bullying in Romania and its negative effects over young people. The campaign aims to gather 50.000 signatures on an online petition in order to launch a Facebook reactions button against cyber-bullying.