Been Cyberbullied Lately?

Nine in 10 teens say they've witnessed it

Photo by Think Stock

It’s bad enough when a student gets picked on at school. But when the torment continues into the realm of social networking, it’s easy to feel like there’s no escape. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project recently surveyed hundreds of children between the ages of 12 and 17. And what they found might have everyone taking a closer look at sites like Facebook.

The study says that 90 percent of kids have admitted to witnessing bullying online. And of the ones who saw cyberbullying taking place, 20 percent admitted they joined in.

Young girls may be the most at risk when it comes to bullying online. The report says three out of 10 girls between the ages of 12 and 13 say they have experienced the worst treatment online. And while Facebook has regulations in place that ensure the identification of each user – and must be at least 13 years or older – other popular sites like FormSpring allow users to post anonymously, making for some potentially risky territory for already bullied kids.

But the data, while daunting, isn’t all bad. The survey also shows that 80 percent of kids say they feel positive about using the Internet and have made better friends on these sites. Social media has become so pervasive that it’s estimated 95 percent of all American teens are now online. And 80 percent of these teens, says Pew, are logged onto social networking sites compared to 65 percent of adults.

How many times do you log into Facebook each day?