Ditch the Label, a U.K.-based anti-bullying charity, released a report this week that found that 54 percent of “extreme cyber-bullying” happens on Facebook alone. Bullying has increasingly become a cause for many activists and rights groups who are looking to protect the privacy of minors on Facebook and other social media sites.
“I think there’s a tendency for older people to think that cyber-bullying is a lesser form of bullying because there is this idea you can delete a comment or you can block it and it’s gone,” said Ditch the Label founder Liam Hackett. “But actually, we have seen that content becomes viral very quickly and when comments are put out on a public platform it can be more distressing for the victim because a lot of people are exposed to this content, so it’s incredibly harmful.”
To its credit, Facebook is keenly aware of its cyber-bullying problem. The site debuted new anti-bullying features this July, creating an “emotionally intelligent” response system that allows 13- and 14-year-old cyber-bullying victims to report issues in a sensitive way. The feature also gives bullying victims an easy way to send a message to either the bully or a trusted adult. However, despite Facebook’s best efforts, it’s clear that bullying remains an issue on the site.