Half of UK girls are bullied on social media

Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Plan International UK, found that almost half of all girls in the UK have experienced some form of harassment or abuse on social media. The poll also showed that 40% of boys have received harassment online.

23% of girls said they felt harassed regularly by someone through social media, compared with 13% of boys. A higher proportion of girls – 20%, compared with 13% of boys, also said that they felt threatened by a comment online.

A large percentage of both boys and girls – 73% and 59% respectively – reported that they had changed their behaviour online in a bid to stem criticism. Both sexes received abusive comments on posts, with a higher number of girls being forced to block people. Girls were also more likely to stop taking part in a debate or conversation online for fear of being criticised.

The survey found that social media had a greater impact on how girls see themselves. Almost half of girls admitted that they felt pressure from social media to look or act a certain way, compared with nearly one in three boys (29%).

Read more about the research here.