Nineteen year old boys revealed as top trolling target

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Shadow Minister Toby Perkins watches Portsmouth Business School students Dan and Ollie role-play a complex sales negotiation meeting using current best-practice methods
Shadow Minister Toby Perkins watches Portsmouth Business School students Dan and Ollie role-play a complex sales negotiation meeting using current best-practice methods

Nineteen year old boys revealed as top trolling target………… Trolled Nation study shows teens suffering in silence as
only a third of those suffering online abuse are currently reporting it to
social networks

•        85% of nineteen year old boys say they have experienced online bullying or
trolling, the highest proportion of all British teens
•        Only just over a third (37%) who experienced online bullying or trolling
have ever reported it to the social network
•        Fewer than one in five (17%) teens first reaction would be to tell a
parent they’ve been affected
•        Only 1% of teenagers say telling a teacher would be their first response
to online bullying or trolling

Oxford, 15th March 2013 – Boys aged nineteen are the group most likely to be
affected by trolling or online bullying among teenagers, according to
research released today. That’s the key finding of a new national survey of
teens, Trolled Nation, conducted by Opinium for, which
showed that whilst 2 in 3 teens have experienced trolling or online
bullying, hardly any would turn to parents (17%) or teachers (1%) for
support as their first reaction.

However, it’s not just failing to confide with an adult that is worrying;
60% of teens said they had never reported the problem to the relevant social
media website, despite many sites offering one click abuse reporting. Teens
don’t believe reporting abuse makes any difference; over a third of those
deciding not to report the incident said it was because they felt like no
action would be taken.

Arthur Cassidy, Media Psychologist and trolling expert
said: “Whilst some might expect girls to be more vulnerable online, this
study shows that older boys are more at risk from trolling and cyber
bullying. Many boys feel under pressure to demonstrate their bravado,
particularly on the web, but this attitude and male deficiency in coping
strategies can make them more vulnerable and open to trolling. Online
bullying can have a massive impact on older male teenagers at a time when
they are finding their identities. Suicide rates are particularly high
amongst this demographic, so it’s worrying to hear that teenagers on the
whole are choosing to deal with internet abuse themselves rather than
speaking to parents or teachers for help.”

The who, where, what of online trolling

With 85% of nineteen year old males reporting that they have experienced
some form of trolling or online bullying, they were the top target
identified by the knowthenet Trolled Nation study. Older teens are more
likely to be affected than their younger counterparts, for both boys and

87% of those who reported experiencing online bullying or trolling said they
had experienced it on Facebook, making it the top social network or service
where it occurs. The knowthenet survey reveals other social media sites /
services that are popular forums for online bullying or trolling:

•        19% stated Twitter
•        13% BBM (BlackBerry Messenger)
•        9%
•        8% Bebo
•        4% Whatsapp

Shockingly, trolling and bullying online isn’t limited to just generic
insulting posts: 21% of teenagers have either experienced or witnessed
offensive comments. For example, on a Facebook memorial page.

The study suggests trolling is now more prevalent than real-life bullying:
49% of teens said they had experienced bullying offline, compared with the
65% that had online. The phenomenon also seems to be an on-going problem for
teens, and not one-off incidents; 34% reported that their experience with
trolling or online bullying lasted more than a month.

Phil Kingsland, Site Director at, said “Parents may find
it frustrating that children spend so much time absorbed with their
smartphone or on social networks. It’s precisely because of the importance
of these networks to youngsters that they can also cause great distress.
Understanding the potential impact trolls can have on teenagers is the first
step to engaging with your youngsters about this, and helping them to deal
with these issues. Online trolling can be as traumatic as physical bullying
in the playground, so it’s important that action is taken quickly and
parents and teachers work together to monitor and deal with the issue.”

Emma-Jane Cross, CEO and founder of the charity BeatBullying commented:
“Bullying both on and offline continues to be a serious problem for a huge
number of teenagers and we cannot ignore its often devastating and tragic
effects. We work with hundreds of young people being cyber-bullied or
trolled so badly that it can lead to depression, truancy, self-harm, or even
force them to contemplate or attempt suicide. What’s also concerning is that
many young people could be suffering in silence. The most important thing
for young people to remember is not to ignore it. If you see cyber-bullying
going on, report it to the site concerned and offer your support. If you’re
being cyber-bullied, always save any bullying messages, posts, pictures or
videos you receive or see. Never respond or retaliate, as this can just make
things worse, and block any users that send you nasty messages.” has launched a trolling hub with lots of advice on how to
deal with online bullying and trolling. This provides details of how to
report online bullying and trolling. You can visit the hub at, with further tips and advice on how to stay
safe, legal and informed online at

The top three tips from to tackle online trolling:

For teens

1.        Don’t feed the trolls – trolls feed off your response so whatever you do,
never reply.
2.        Tell a mate, a teacher, a parent or someone you trust about it as soon as
3.        Collect evidence of email or message trails in case it gets more serious.
You can find a checklist of what to keep at

For parents
1.        Listen to your teenager and discuss the problem they’re having.
2.        Help your child with the practical elements of gathering evidence but be
respectful of their privacy so ask before reading their messages
3.        Support your child in reporting the abuse to the social network, online
messaging service, or even the authorities and keep monitoring the situation
on a regular basis. There’s more information on how to report online
bullying at

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