38% Indian consumers involved in bullying: Microsoft study

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 29, 2020 Published on September 29, 2020

A majority of consumers in India have been involved in bullying incidents as the target of the bullying, according to a latest digital civility study by Microsoft.

According to the study, Civility, Safety and Interaction Online – 2020, 38 per cent of consumers in India have said that they have been involved in a “bullying incident.”

Globally 38 per cent of people in 32 countries said that they have targeted in a bullying incident.

As per the report 15 per cent of Indian respondents reported workplace bullying, while 27 per cent said it happened outside.

As for India, 34 per cent of the respondents involved in such incidents were adults, while 43 per cent were teenagers. In India, 25 per cent of the respondents said they were the target, while 17 per cent were a bystander or witness to bullying or harassment.

Repercussions of online bullying

“Online bullying has very real consequences in the offline world. Where bullying is online, a victim can be exposed to harm at any time of day, from anonymous sources, and with the potential for abuse to be broadcast to a wide audience,” said Keshav Dhakad, Group Head & Assistant General Counsel – Corporate, External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft India

“While we often think about cyber-bullying as an issue facing children and young people, it is important to be aware that people of all ages can be affected by online mistreatment, cruelty, and abuse,” he added.

As the target of bullying, 58 per cent of respondents reported feeling humiliated due to the incident, while 52 per cent said that they felt demoralised. About 51 per cent respondents reported loss of self-confidence and 58 per cent of GenX respondents were more likely to be less productive at work.

“Respondents exposed to online bullying or harassment in their workplaces were also more likely to report having “unbearable or severe” levels of pain from those experiences,” Dhakad added.

In response to online bullying, 70 per cent of participants in India blocked the bully, while 58 per cent talked to a friend about what happened. As 43 per cent reported the incident to a parent, teacher or trusted adult, only 28 per cent of respondents said that they had reported the experience to the social media company or other provider.

“We want to encourage people of all ages to report any cyberbullying or online harassment to the relevant online service provider. User-reporting plays an important role in helping everyone to have safe and trusted online experiences,” Dhakad said.

The study was conducted in April and May. It is based on 4,511 responses from 32 geographies, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The tech giant polled teenagers aged 13-17 and adults aged 18-74 about their “online experiences and exposure to 21 different online risks across four categories: behavioural, sexual, reputational, and personal/intrusive.”

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Published on September 29, 2020
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