While social media is a great way to socialize with friends and family, it can also be a magnet for hecklers. Unfortunately, Instagram has more cyberbullies than any other platform, according to new research.
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Scientists from Ditch the Label, an anti-bullying charity, conducted a study to determine how social media can cause anxiety among youth. By surveying more than 10,000 people aged 12 to 20, they examined cyberbullying on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Overall, 68 percent of people had been sent a nasty private message and 39 percent of people said they had a nasty comment posted on their profile.
But Instagram was the most concerning.
They found that 42 percent of Instagram users had been bullied on the platform compared to 37 percent for Facebook, 31 percent for Snapchat, 10 percent for YouTube and 9 percent for Twitter.
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“I was on Instagram and I have a private account. Somebody that I didn’t know had a picture of me and said they would put my face on a nude picture if I didn’t answer the call,” one surveyor wrote. “I didn’t answer the call. And to this day I don’t know if that person has put it online.”
Instagram has recently implemented technology that automatically blocks offensive content. Users can also disable comments and create their own set of banned words and emojis to keep themselves safe.
But analysts say more should be done.
They said the industry and civil society should develop a set of core values in the digital environment. They also suggested that tech companies should respond faster to online conflicts, concerns and inappropriate content.