Cyberbullying via social media exists in HK, but at a much lower rate than elsewhere

A recent survey found online bullying did happen in Hong Kong, but only 15 per cent of those surveyed said it had happened to them

Joanne Ma |

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Students have reported being bullied while using social media apps.

A recent survey released on Sunday found that more than 15 per cent of secondary school students in Hong Kong have been cyberbullied via social media apps, while about 10 per cent have been sent pornography.

While it is concerning that students in the city have had this issue, Hong Kong stacks up well against other regions. 

According to a survey done by Pew Research Centre, 59 per cent of US teens have been bullied or harassed online. 

Useful tips to keep you safe on social media

In Britain, 54 per cent of teens aged between 12 and 20 have been bullied and among them, 33 per cent of them said they often experience cyber-bullying, according to Ditch the Label, an anti-bullying charity.

Some 300 out of 1,900 students from 28 secondary schools in Hong Kong said they were cyberbullied while using social media apps. Meanwhile, 160 students said they received half-naked, or naked photos, and 35 students received photos involving child pornography.

The survey was conducted between May and June this year by the Anti-Pornographic and Violence Media Campaign, a group of educators, social workers, parents and religious groups determined to protect youngsters from indecent influences in the media. 

Do Hong Kong students spend too long on social media?

A number of students don’t feel this issue is being taken care of, or that they are being supported.

“My classmates were saying I was fake online. In the end, I reported it to the teachers,” a student who wished to remain anonymous told Young Post, “However, I still haven’t received any apologies from those classmates.”

And one expert believes the actual figures for Hong Kong may be much, much higher than this survey suggests. 

“I ... believe not all students speak out,” said Ken Chan Kam-ming, director of Liberal Pulse, a non-profit organisation. 

“It’s just the tip of the iceberg.”