Cyberbullying: Key Statistics and Figures (2024)

Everything you need to know about cyberbullying around the world, including stats, facts, and trends.
hero image blog

Cyberbullying has become a real virtual pandemic Who spares no one, from children to adults.

With the spread of smartphones and social networks, cyberstalkers can now reach their victims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever they are.

The mental and physical health consequences of those targeted can be devastating: anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, suicidal thoughts...

According to the latest statistics, more than 60% of young people and 40% of adults have already been victims of cyberbullying at least once in their lives.

The most important facts about cyberbullying:

Most Common Actions of Users Engaged in Cyberstalking
Source: Verywellfamily
  • The most common type of online bullying is nasty comments 22.5%.
  • 35% had shared a screenshot of someone's status or photo to make fun of them
  • 61% of teens who report being bullied say it was because of their appearance.
  • 41% of American adults who use the Internet have personally experienced online harassment.
  • 77% of victims of online harassment said they had been harassed on facebook.
  • 7 out of 10 young people are victims of cyberbullying before reaching the age of 18.

To understand the extent of this worrying phenomenon, let's dive into the key figures of cyberbullying, let's go on.

List of Cyberbullying Statistics and Key Figures

1. Young People, Preferred Targets of Cyberstalkers

panorama of cyberbullying among students
  • 37% of 12-17 year olds have been harassed online, 30% of whom have been harassed multiple times.
  • 45.5% of middle and high school students have experienced cyberbullying at least once.
  • Over the last 30 days, 23% have been cyberstalked (+55% since 2015).
  • 45% of LGBT+ students were harassed online over the year, compared to 35% in LGBT-friendly schools.
  • 22% of girls are cyberstalked compared to only 8% of boys.
  • 70% of young people are victims before the age of 18.

Children and teens are the favorite targets of cyberstalkers.

Weakened by the upheavals of adolescence (puberty, quest for identity, social pressure...), they Are easy prey.

2. A Phenomenon That Also Affects Adults

Psychological impact of women victims of online abuse or harassment worldwide
  • 41% of adult Internet users have personally been harassed online.
  • Those aged 18-29 are the most affected: 64% have already been victims.
  • 49% of adults who were harassed were harassed because of their political views.
  • 15% of women found the harassment “extremely upsetting” compared to 5% of men.
  • 25% of adult victims had sleep disorders.
  • 16% have taken steps to ensure their physical safety.

Contrary to popular belief, cyberbullying doesn't stop at 18.

Adults, especially young people and women, are very into it often victims with serious repercussions on their well-being.

In a polarized climate, opinions have become the number one reason for adult harassment: divide and conquer? ...

3. Social Networks and Online Games, Nests to Harassment

Percentage of young victims of cyber-bullying by social network
  • 77% of victims have been harassed on Facebook. On Instagram, 42% of young people are concerned.
  • 35% had shared a screenshot of a post to make fun of someone.
  • 79% of children playing online have received physical threats.
  • 38% of trolls are active on social networks and 23% on YouTube.
  • 22.5% of victims experienced nasty comments, the most common form of harassment.

Some platforms accumulate cases of cyberbullying.

Social networks like Facebook and Instagram, very popular with young people, are fertile soils.

In online games too, insults and threats abound. No virtual space is spared online.

3. Deep Psychological Damage

Diversity of Student Harassment: Targeting Motives and Forms of Harassment
Source: Statista
  • 61% of harassed teens say it was because of how they looked.
  • Bullied middle school students are twice as likely to attempt suicide.
  • 26% of the victims had suicidal thoughts.
  • 41% developed social anxiety and 37% developed depression.

Behind each screen is real suffering. Loss of self-esteem, anxiety disorders, depression, dark ideas...

Cyberbullying can leave indelible psychological sequelae, which can go as far as the passage toSuicidal acts among the most vulnerable.

5. A Struggle That's Still Insufficient

  • 83% of young people think that social networks should do more.
  • Only 14% of reported threats were removed in 2021 (22% in 2020).
  • 60% of young people have witnessed but few dare to intervene.
  • 81% would be more helpful if they could do it anonymously.

Despite growing awareness, the fight efforts seem to be insufficient.

Social networks struggle to moderate problematic content. Witnesses, by afraid of reprisals, are often silent. Facilitating anonymous reports could help.

Cyberbullying in the age of deep fakes: a threat amplified by AI

Worldwide AI-Powered Fraud

The Emergence of deep fakes, this media content manipulated or generated by artificial intelligence, gives a worrying new dimension to cyberbullying.

With these technologies, it is now possible to:

  • Create of Compromising fake videos by superimposing one person's face on another body
  • Imitate the voice with a AI voice generator from someone to make him say violent or humiliating words
  • Fabricating overwhelming “evidence” from scratch to destroy a reputation

A recent example of this alarming trend occurred in Bucks County, PA, where a 50-year-old woman targeted teenage girls in her neighborhood.

Using sophisticated techniques such as manipulating images and sending hate messages from anonymous numbers, it has spread terror among its unsuspecting victims.

While it may be tempting to minimize the potential impact of such acts as an adult, it is essential to understand that the Cyberbullying can affect anyone, regardless of age or social position.

 Example of cyberbullying in Bucks County, PA; Cyberbullying statistics
Example of cyberstalking: A mother used deepfakes to spread terror - Source: Cyberbullying.org

The mind-blowing realism of these deep fakes and their virality With gullible Internet users, it is a powerful weapon for cyberstalkers.

Faced with this threat, several challenges arise:

  • Punishing stalkers when deep fakes muddy the waters
  • Protecting victims in the face of these new types of attacks
  • Raise public awareness to sharpen critical thinking in the face of ever more sophisticated content
original VS deepfake

To counter this drift in AI, the empowerment of everyone is crucial. Platforms, authorities, schools but also Internet users, we all have a role to play in order to:

  • Anticipate risks and adapt legal and technological responses
  • Educate how to decrypt deep fakes and verify sources
  • Don't make deep fakes an additional viral weapon for cyberstalkers

It is by using our human intelligence that we will be able to thwart this new threat fromartificial intelligence.

The fight against cyberbullying is also being played out in the field of deep fakes.

Cyberbullying, a worrying reality

Celebrities Read Mean Tweets

Behind the humor of the segment”Celebrities Read Mean Tweets“, there is a much darker reality: cyberbullying.

Insults, threats, humiliations, rumours... All online verbal abuse that aims to hurt, degrade or intimidate a person, often by attacking their appearance, intelligence, origin or sexual orientation.

With social media, these attacks can take on a devastating scale, destroying the reputation and self-esteem of victims, who are often young and vulnerable. School dropout, depression, suicidal thoughts... The consequences can be dramatic.

Source: Ditchthelabel

Cyberbullying is a full-fledged form of violence that requires a firm response. Everyone can act at their own level: report abusive content, support victims, raise awareness among those around them...

Let's not forget that at the other end of the screen is a human being who deserves respect, regardless of our differences.

Together, let's reject the trivialization of online hate for a more ethical and benevolent use of the Internet.

map of countries with the highest levels of cyberstalking
Source: Ceoworld

A law against cyberbullying: between advances and limits

The law against cyberbullying has positive aspects but also significant weaknesses:

1. Significant advances

  • Awareness of the seriousness of online harassment and a desire to address it
  • Increased sanctions against cyberstalkers for a deterrent effect
  • Easy ways to report and remove problematic content

According to a recent study, 40% of French people have already been victims of cyberbullying. Among young people aged 18-24, this figure rises to 58%.

This law therefore responds to a major concern of the population.

SREN law

2. VAGUE DEFINITIONS A SOURCE OF LEGAL UNCERTAINTY

  • A qualification of cyberbullying subject to interpretation
  • A risk of disproportionate censorship without sufficient judicial control
  • A thin border with freedom of expression

While the intent of this law is commendable, its implementation raises serious questions. The delineation of cyberbullying remains unclear, which could lead to abusive sanctions.

Only 10% of reported cases result in a conviction today, proof of the difficulty in characterizing harassment.

3. A potential threat to freedom of expression

chat about freedom of expression
  • A risk of preventive censorship and self-censorship by Internet users
  • Platforms encouraged to remove legitimate content preventively as a precaution
  • A private justice system that bypasses judicial control, which is nevertheless essential

In the name of the fight against cyberbullying, it is freedom of expression that could be undermined.

By leaving it to platforms to judge what constitutes harassment, without systematic recourse to the judge, we open the door to arbitrary and potentially massive censorship.

71% of Internet users say they are worried about their freedom of speech online. A “chilling effect” that could silence legitimate opinions.

4. A focus on repression at the expense of prevention

  • A mostly punitive policy with little focus on education
  • A lack of resources to raise awareness of digital uses
  • Insufficiently encouraged individual accountability of Internet users

The root causes of cyberbullying, such as lack of empathy and digital maturity, remain largely unaddressed.

Only 11% of the allocated budget finances preventive actions.

Can this scourge be contained by the threat of sanctions alone? A balanced public policy, which also focuses on education, seems essential.

5. Uncertain means of implementation

  • Judicial services that are already overloaded and lacking in human resources
  • Cooperation between online platforms that remains to be demonstrated
  • Monitoring reports that promises to be complicated given their volume

Finally, the practical application of the law seems to be compromised by the lack of resources. Justice is already struggling to deal with cyberstalking procedures whose number has tripled in 5 years.

The response rate of major platforms to legal requests peaked at 68%. For lack of arms, the Promised massive repression risks remaining theoretical.

Despite real progress, this law still suffers from major flaws.

The fight against cyberbullying, while it is a priority, cannot ignore a fundamental debate: what regulation for an Internet that is both free and respectful of all? Is the law really only dedicated to “cyberbullying”? We have the right to ask questions.

Conclusion

The numbers are alarming: cyberbullying is a real poison that is spreading at full speed in our hyperconnected society.

Its psychological ravages are immense, from the youngest to adults. Faced with this scourge, everyone has a role to play: web giants, schools, authorities but also all of us, as parents, friends, colleagues... Dialogue, raise awareness, report, support victims are all small actions that, put together, can reduce online hate.

A safer and more caring Internet is everyone's business. It is urgent to act before a new tragedy strikes.

Together, we can hack bullying!

profil auteur de stephen MESNILDREY
Stephen MESNILDREY
CEO & Founder

🔍 My passion? Decipher, analyze and share powerful strategies, cutting-edge software and new tips that boost your business and revolutionize your sector.

Want to stay on the cutting edge? You are at good place ! 💡

📩 Subscribe to my newsletter and receive every week :

  • Practical advice to reinvent your business, optimize your productivity and stimulate your creativity
  • Privileged access to new strategies
  • 100% content EXCLUSIVE to share with you
  • 0% things to sell to you

The adventure has only just begun, and it promises to be epic! 🚀

For daily insights and real-time analytics, follow me on Twitter 📲

⚠️ IMPORTANT: Some links may be affiliated and may generate a commission at no additional cost to you if you opt for a paid plan. These brands - tested and approved 👍 - contribute to maintaining this free content and keeping this website alive 🌐
Table of contents
>
Key Links
Share this content