Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Online hate, bullying and violence

Young people’s experience with online hate, bullying and violence

A high proportion of young people aged 12 to 17 in Australia have encountered inappropriate or hateful content online.

Their experiences included:

  • Being targets of bullying or hurtful comments: 25% — 30% of girls, 21% of boys
  • Seeing real violence that disturbed them: 57% — 62% of girls, 53% of boys
  • Seeing racist comments: 56% — 60% of girls, 53% of boys
  • Seeing or hearing hateful comments about cultural or religious groups: 53% — 57% of girls, 50% of boys

Targets of harmful content online (multiple responses allowed)

  • Muslims, 53%
  • Asylum seekers, 37%
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, 37%
  • Refugees, 35%
  • Asians, 33%
  • LGBTI, 26%
  • Africans, 20%
  • Jews, 17%
  • Christians, 15%
  • Other minority groups, 2%

Promotion of terrorism

33% of young people have seen videos or images promoting terrorism online.

Dealing with online hate, bullying and violent content

What young people said they would do when they encountered...

Cyberbullying:

  • 53% report it (72% would report to their parents)
  • 18% post a comment against it
  • 18% ignore it
  • 4% share it with online friends

Violent images or videos promoting terrorism:

  • 48% report it (66% of these would report to their parents)
  • 29% ignore it
  • 8% post a comment against it
  • 2% share it with online friends

Racist or hateful comments about cultural groups:

  • 36% report it (66% of these would report to their parents
  • 33% post a comment against it
  • 17% ignore it
  • 3% share it with online friends

Hateful comments about religion:

  • 32% report it (64% of these would report to their parents)
  • 14% post a comment against it
  • 40% ignore it
  • 2% share it with online friends

Source: Research commissioned by eSafety and the Department of Education and Training, November to December 2016. Respondents comprised 2,448 young people aged 12 to 17 years in Australia. 

More findings from this research