TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Online Bullying Rears Its Head in the Netherlands

Online Bullying Rears Its Head in the Netherlands

Lisa Minter (
12 Feb 2005 11:11:31 -0800

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Twelve percent of Dutch youngsters aged between
11 and 15 said they had been bullied online, according to a study by a
local Internet provider, which added the real number could be much

The Netherlands-based Planet Internet said 30 percent of youngsters in
the study reported they had threatened others, mainly schoolmates, via
instant messaging or e-mail.

"I send mails to children who I don't like," one 11-year-old
respondent told the company. "I send them filthy messages, worse than
rotten, saying things like 'I'm gonna kill you tonight'."

The study, which interviewed 500 children, found that adults remained
oblivious to the new phenomenon, in contrast to bullying at school,
which was a well-publicized problem.

"Online bullying occurs out of sight; children live in their own
digital world," the report said, adding that only 37 percent of
victims tell their parents.

"Adults should take more interest in what youngsters are doing on the
Internet, so that it's more likely they will be told what's going on."

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