There’s no denying that the online world comes with many advantages for young people. It makes it easier for them to research school topics, communicate with their friends, have fun, and learn about other cultures, people, and places.
Research from the youth charity Reach Out has revealed that an overwhelming number of Australian children experience cyber bullying. Using a nationally representative survey of people aged between 14 and 25, it found that up to 380,000 children experienced cyber bullying in 2017 alone. In some cases, the bullying became so severe that those who experienced it sought medical advice for their mental health.
Social media is a great way for students to keep in touch with their friends, build study groups, and share knowledge. In Australia alone, around one in two people use Facebook on a daily basis, and the average teenager spends over 1200 hours on social media platforms each year.
Navigating the internet would be a lot simpler and safer if there was an easy-to-find, all-encompassing cyber bullying law—say, an “Australian Anti-Cyber Bullying Law” statute. If we had a single law document that listed everything you wanted to know in it such as how to tell if someone is being cyber bullied, what help you can get, and the corresponding penalties for those who break it, things would be easier. Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific cyber bullying law of that sort here in Australia.
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