A survey of more than 1,000 young people came to the conclusion that almost half of the girls in the UK experience online harassment on social media
The survey was conducted by Opinium for the children’s charity Plan International UK. It involved 1,002 people aged between 11 and 18. 235 out of 486 girls reported online abuse, in comparison with 202 of 510 boys.
The findings highlight pressure on all young people and note that the abuse differs between genders. The charity asked for more to be done to tackle this issue.
Campaign manager, Lucy Russell, said that: “What we did find is the nature of abuse differs, and if you look at what girls are experiencing offline, for example, street sexual harassment, that is being echoed in the online world. So girls are being told what to wear, how to look, to shut up about their opinions … That really stood out for us.”
She added: “We can see there are pressures on all young people online and they all need support, but what we also found from research and previous work on girls rights in the UK … is that across the board, the situation is different for girls, and we do need to look at gender and sexism in the online world as specific.”
The poll showed that nearly double the number of girls (23%) said that they felt regularly harassed by someone through the use of social media, compared with 13% of boys. More than that, a higher proportion of girls said that they felt threatened by an online comment.