Cyber-Bullying..How big is the problem??

Cyber-bullying is defined by as an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using mobile phones or the internet, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.

The invasive and in some cases relatively anonymous nature of cyber-bullying can have massive implications on the victims and the productivity within the organisations they operate.

But just how big is the problem?? PixAlert, have worked with MicroSoft in creating tools that can read and analyse the levels of anti social and bullying behaviour in organisations . During our research a large amount of data was collected in the process..here are some of our key findings!

Corporates:

Bullying and harassment within the workplace has major repercussions for organisations in terms of its people, productivity and ultimately profits. The health risks to the staff members experiencing bullying does not end at work, it often follows them home in the form of health-related issues such as stress, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep issues, high blood pressure and ulcers. This can be traumatising experiences for staff that experience this behaviour and as organisations we need to be socially and ethically responsible enough to stamp this behaviour out wherever we can.

The presence of workplace bullying doesn’t just affect the people within the organisation, it can have devastating effects on the financial performance of organisations over time. Costs such as increased absenteeism, low productivity, poor decision-making and higher staff turnover can have detrimental effects on an organisations bottom line. Forbes reported that in the UK alone, £18 billion in work related costs can be attributed to Workplace bullying. Further to this, as recently as last year the NHS conducted a study that indicated workplace bullying cost the taxpayer £2.3 billion.

In Ireland we are seeing high profile cases of workplace bullying with recent reports coming from state agencies such as the Gardaí and the HSE. Both these organisations have set up task forces to deal with the problem.

Key Stats:

• 75% of workers have suffered from some form of workplace bullying

• Ireland is the 7th worst country in Europe for workplace bullying

• NHS spent £2.3 billion on bullying related costs in 2018

• £18 billion is the estimated cost of Workplace Bullying to the UK industry

• More than half of companies with revenue in excess of $750 million

use “non-traditional” staff monitoring techniques

Educational:

As Schools/college issued devices become more and more common place, the governing organisations need to be set up appropriately to deal with the prevailing dangers of cyber bullying. Much work needs to be done in educating student bodies in how to exercise proper etiquette in usage of digital devices in an educational context and how to engage such technology responsibly. There is also a need for educational systems to put in place software that discovers and guards against bullying.

In Ireland schools have to adhere to the dept. of Education “Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools” guidelines. This states that with regards to cyber-bullying “prevention and awareness raising measures should also take into account the scope for cyber-bullying to occur as a result of access to technology from within the school”. Taking this into account technology that allows for this behaviour to be discovered quickly, would not only be extremely beneficial in the eradication of such behaviour, but would be an imperative.

Key stats:

• Only 20-30% of bullied kids notify adults

• 10% of school bullying occurs through email or blogging

• In the US students aged 12-18 who reported being bullied, 15% were online

• 14% of UK students, 10% of US and 2% internationally reported “hurtful” comment being posted online

• 22% of student’s report being cyber-bullied in college.

• 38%of college students knew someone who had been cyber-bullied.

• 9% of college students admitted to cyber-bullying someone else.

Niall Kelly