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Online trolling – ‘we do it cause its funny’

Online trolling has been going on for as long as we can remember. A new survey shows that one in three young people aged between 14 to 18 have been a victim of online abuse, and one in ten have carried it out.

Trolling now is at its most popular, one in three young people have fallen foul of a troll in the last six months and one in four are regularly attacked.

A survey of 2,000 teenagers found that the majority of attacks were based around the victim’s appearance (40%) or about their race or religion (16%). Facebook is the most common place for victims to be attacked.

The interesting statistic is that 49% of people asked say it is ok to say things online that you would not do in person, face to face.

Trolls say that hurling insults online at people is ‘funny’. When victims were asked who insulted them, they said 67 percent of the insults came from people they knew. On the other side of the coin, almost a third of the people involved said that after an insult they lost confidence in themselves.

vinspired, a youth volunteering charity handled the survey of 14 to 18 year old and has launched a ‘lolz not troll’s’ campaign, asking young people to make a pledge not to troll others.

Earlier reports show that kids in America who are bullied are at a higher risk of anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts and depression. The result is that damaged kids can have problems in later life.

Professor Mark Griffiths, a social media expert who is working with vinspired said “The ability to remain anonymous online can lead to people saying what they may not in person over social networking channels.

Young people need to understand the consequences that these comments can have, and it’s important to teach them how to use social media correctly, to make the internet a safer and happier place.”

Terry Ryall, the chief executive of vinspired said “We have all heard of cases where youngsters have harmed themselves due to troll attacks – so writing a trolling message isn’t harmless fun, it’s potentially deadly.

“Our aim isn’t to attack the trolls, but instead to get young people to do something positive and pledge not to be a troll themselves, abiding by the ‘netiquette’ guide we have created.

Kitguru says: The moral of the story? if you are a troll, then perhaps a new hobby might be a good career move. Stamp collecting perhaps?

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