KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 – About 28 per cent of Malaysians aged 13 to 24 have experienced online bullying, with 43 per cent being victims via private messaging apps, a Unicef poll found.
According to the survey by Unicef and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, 80 per cent of these Malaysians say that their bullying experience occurred on social media networks, with 47 per cent happening on Facebook.
On the other hand, eight per cent of the respondents admitted that they have used digital technology to harass or even bully others.
The poll also revealed that 64 per cent of these Malaysians are in the dark about helplines existing in the country that could be used if they are a victim of cyberbullying or online violence.
On a global scale, the poll, which included respondents from 30 countries, showed that one in five young people reported having skipped school due to cyberbullying and violence.
“One of the key messages that we can clearly see from their opinions is the need for children and young people involvement and partnering: When asked who should be responsible for ending cyberbullying, the opinions were equally divided between governments, internet service providers (private sector) and young people themselves,” said Najat Maalla Mjid, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children.
To curb online bullying and violence among young people, Unicef is working on various areas, including implementation of policies to protect children and young people from cyber-bullying and bullying; establishment and equipment of national helplines to support children and young people; as well as advancement of ethical standards and practices of social network providers specifically in regards to the collection, information and management of data.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said 61 per cent of Malaysian youths were victims of online violence on private messaging apps. Unicef has since corrected it to 43 per cent.