The largest cyberbullying problem you've never heard about

Published: 06 September 2016

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It’s the happy-go-lucky group you’d always expect to ‘hold their own’. After all, ‘banter between blokes’ is meant to be shared and enjoyed as ‘harmless fun’. However, new research released today has revealed that the majority of men suffering online abuse feel it’s gone beyond a joke.

While most adults would think of bullying as just a problem confined to school playgrounds, more men are experiencing it again rearing its ugly head, long after leaving school. The new battleground, not the classroom, but social media.

In a report carried out by cyber security firm, Norton by Symantec, researchers found more than three quarters (78 percent) of Australian men under 30, and over half (54 percent) of all Australian men, have experienced some form online harassment. With the younger generations, the one’s born with internet that are the victim of most of the abuse. A whopping 78 percent of the men that are harassed are under the age of 30.

The study showed the most common forms of online harassment include abuse and insults (34 percent), trolling or malicious gossip (29 percent), and rumour-spreading (27 percent).

It seems some trolls have no motive, with nearly half of the males suffering abuse (45 percent) being targeted for no specific reason.

That isn’t to say some abuse isn’t directed, the most common reasons men are attacked include social background (12 percent), physical appearance (11 percent), weight (10 percent), as well as race and ethnic background (nine percent).

Although Australia prides itself on being an accepting country, sexual orientation and religion were still common reasons for abuse.

31 percent of males from religious minority groups were attacked because of their faith while 23 percent of men are attacked for their sexual orientation.

If you are being affected by cyber bullying, you are encouraged to report the perpetrator to authorities, or reach out to organisations like beyondblue.