Girls aged between 10 and 16 years were the most vulnerable.
Around 85% of children in India have reported being cyberbullied and it is the highest in the world, according to a new survey
The survey was released by global computer security firm McAfee Corp on August 8, 2022.
Titled ‘Cyberbullying in Plain Sight’, the report is based on a 10-country survey to uncover new and “consequential trends” regarding cyberbullying.
The survey also noted that the number of Indian children who reported having cyberbullied someone is also twice the international average.
Around 45% of children in India said they cyberbullied a stranger, compared to 17% worldwide and 48% said they cyberbullied someone they know, versus 21% of kids in other countries.
The top three forms of cyberbullying reported in India were spreading false rumours, being excluded from groups or conversations and name calling.
The survey was conducted from 15 June to 5 July by market research company MSI-ACI for McAfee Corp via emails that invited parents of children aged 10 to 18 years to complete an online questionnaire.
It surveyed a total of 11,687 parents and their children from 10 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, India, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico.
The survey also said Indian children faced the highest number of “extreme forms of cyberbullying” in the world including cases of racism, sexual harassment, and threats of physical harm.
Around 42% of children in India have been the target of racist cyberbullying, which is 14% higher than the rest of the world.
As many as 36% of Indian children reported being trolled, 29% said they faced personal attacks, 30% suffered sexual harassment, 28% had threats of personal harm and 23% suffered doxing.
All of these forms of cyberbullying, the survey noted, stood at double the global average.
Gagan Singh, chief product officer at McAfee Corp said: “Cyberbullying in India reaches alarming highs as more than 1 in 3 kids face cyber racism, sexual harassment, and threats of physical harm as early as the age of 10.
“This makes India the #1 nation for reported cyberbullying in the world.”
The survey also found that girls aged between 10 and 16 years were the most vulnerable online, with rates of sexual harassment and threats of personal harm ranging between 32-34%.
The study surveyed 14 social media platforms, ranging from Snapchat and Facebook to Instagram.
Indian children, it found, reported experiencing cyberbullying up to 1.5 times more than kids in other countries on online platforms.
The survey also noted that 45% of Indian children hid their cyberbullying experiences from parents, well below the global average of 64% “perhaps due to the relative absence of conversation” around the issue.
Gagan Singh added that parents displayed “important gaps of knowledge around cyberbullying but even more concerning, children aren’t considering behaviours like jokes and name-calling harmful online.”
In the absence of conversation and support, the survey said that Indian children were addressing cyberbullying themselves.
Nearly three out of five children said they deleted their social media accounts to avoid bullying and 87% said they talked to their friends about it.