Majority of young people want social media giants to do more to stop cyberbullying

Date: 21st September 2017
Category: Bullying

A poll undertaken by YoungMinds and The Children's Society has found that more than 8 in 10 (83%) young people think social media companies should do more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms.

Over 1000 children and young people aged between 11-25 were surveyed on issues related to cyberbullying and how it affects them. 46% said that they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages and 14% said they had experience online bullying in the last month.

The poll also found that:

  • 1 in 5 (20%) young people had experienced personal, private or embarrassing information being shared publicly.
  • 47% of young people have experienced exclusion from conversations, groups, games and activities online.
  • 30% of young people have experienced persistent messaging after asking someone to stop.
  • 40% of young people said that social media had a negative impact on how they feel about themselves.
  • Over half of young people (59%) had their first accounts at age 12 or under, despite social media platforms having a minimum age of 13.
  • However, young people still felt positively about social media with 60% saying it had a positive effect on their relationship with their friends.

- The majority of respondents (82%) also thought social media companies should do more to promote good mental health.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said:
"Young people must feel safe online, and more needs to be done to prevent and respond to cyberbullying when it happens. But we're also excited to see how this inquiry can work with social media companies to find innovative ways to promote mental health among young people, empowering them to understand how to respond to what they see online and cope with the pressures that social media brings."

Alex Chalk MP responded to the findings by saying "As a society we are in the foothills of our understanding of the impact of social media on young people's mental health. This robust, evidence-based, inquiry will improve our knowledge, and help young people more safely navigate what can feel like a minefield."