4 in 10 consumers in India victim of online bullying: Microsoft


(IANS) Nearly four in 10 consumers have been involved in a bullying incident online at their workplaces and outside, a Microsoft study revealed on Monday.

Across India, 38 per cent of consumers (34 per cent adults and 43 per cent teenagers), said they were involved in a “bullying incident”.

Nearly 25 per cent respondents said they were the target and 17 per cent a bystander or witness to bullying or harassment.

“In India, 15 per cent reported bullying occurring in their workplace, and 27 per cent outside. Workplace bullying is a particular challenge during the current pandemic, with separate Microsoft research on the future of work highlighting an increased blending of life and work,” said Keshav Dhakad, Group Head and Assistant General Counsel-Corporate, External and Legal Affairs, Microsoft India.

“When the target of online bullying or harassment, our research shows that most people in India either blocked the bully (70 per cent) or talked to a friend about what happened (58 per cent), while some reported the incident to a parent, teacher or trusted adult (43 per cent)”.

Only 28 per cent respondents in India said they had reported the experience to a social media company or other provider.

Conducted in April and May, the study included a total of 32 geographies, with 4,511 people surveyed across nine countries in Asia Pacific.

The results show that 38 per cent of people in 32 countries say they’ve been involved in a bullying incident as the target of the bullying, someone who displayed bullying behaviours, or as a bystander.

The study polled teenagers aged 13-17 and adults aged 18-74 about their online experiences and exposure to online risks.

“Globally, for the respondents affected by workplace bullying, the most common consequences were feeling humiliated (58 per cent), followed by feeling demoralised (52 per cent) and a loss of self-confidence (51 per cent),” Dhakad said.

The impacts also varied across the generations.

Fifty-three percent of respondents aged 18-24 reported feeling isolated and depressed as a consequence of bullying, whereas Gen X respondents were more likely to report being less productive at work (58 per cent).

Respondents exposed to online bullying or harassment in their workplaces were also more likely to report having “unbearable or severe” levels of pain from those experiences.

“We want to encourage people of all ages to report any cyberbullying or online harassment to the relevant online service provider,” Dhakad said in a blog post.

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