The most common platforms where youths experienced online bullying were social media, messaging apps, and online gaming and video game streaming platforms
Cyberbullying is a serious problem for 85% of Bangladeshi youths, according to a Grameenphone and Telenor Group survey run in association with Plan International from August to September.
The survey was conducted among youths to find out how internet use and online bullying trends have changed across Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand in the backdrop of Covid-19. Of the 3,930 respondents to the regional survey, 16% were youths from Bangladesh
About 29% of Bangladesh youths said they were bullied before the pandemic, and 18% said they experienced more online bullying since the onset of Covid-19. Around 8% of youths experienced online bullying at least once a week since the arrival of the pandemic.
The most common platforms where youths experienced online bullying were social media, messaging apps, and online gaming and video game streaming platforms.
To stop the bullying online, respondents in the four countries said that they took several measures to safeguard themselves, which included ignoring the bully, which resulted in the person stopping, changing security settings online so the person could not contact them, and speaking to a parent or guardian about the problem.
The survey also revealed that 86% of youths surveyed in Bangladesh spent more time on the internet since Covid-19 began. In addition, 35% of youths in Bangladesh said they used the internet all the time, 15% used it mainly in the evenings, and only 2% limited their use to only during school hours.
Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone, said: “There is no denying our future generation needs digital skills and are active users of the internet. So, we need to intensify cooperation and commitment with various stakeholders to keep them safe. The survey results set a call to action to focus on this issue collectively.”
Manisha Dogra, VP (Sustainability) for Telenor in Asia, said: “With the marked increase in time spent on the internet by youth during the pandemic, there is a clear need to better equip youth with ways and methods to protect themselves online.
Awareness, training on online bullying, and digital building resilience are crucial to be a multi-stakeholder exercise. This should not be left just to educational institutions but should also involve parents and caregivers.”