Who Are Cyberbullies?

Between 21-30% of youth have harassed others online in the last year:4,5

  • Between 18-28% have made rude or mean comments to another person online.
  • 11% say they have spread rumors about another person online.
  • 5% say they have made threatening or aggressive comments to others online.
  • 9% have harassed or embarrassed another person online on purpose.

Characteristics of harassers:3,4,15

The characteristics of teens who admit to being a cyberbully or Internet harasser:

  • In general, boys and girls appear to be equally likely to harass others online. In the Youth Internet Safety Survey,3 boys were more likely than girls to harass others frequently (once a month or more often). The Growing up with Media survey found differently, with boys and girls equally likely to harass others a lot or once or twice.3,4
  • In general, harassers are more likely also to report being aggressive and to frequently break rules.4
  • Teens who harass others frequently (once a month or more often) also report depressed or withdrawn behavior twice as often as teens who don’t harass others online 4.
  • Youth who have difficulty with concentration and/or low academic achievement are more likely to perpetuate bullying.15

According to teens who have been harassed:2

  • Their harasser tends to be older teens (like 13-17 years old instead of 10-12).
  • About half of online harassers and bullies are male, about 30% are female, and about 20% aren’t known to the teen who is being bullied
  • About half of the time, the teen knows their harasser in the offline world. The rest of the time, the teen knows the harasser only in the online world. Sometimes, but not often, teens are harassed by people they don’t know online or offline before the incident.