Press release №2354
20.08.2021
CYBERBULLING: THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM IN RUSSIA

IN BRIEF

  • 42% of Russian Internet users say that over the recent five years the number of abusive posts and comments has increased in the Russian Internet segment
  • 49% of Russian Internet users believe that the best way to solve this problem is to block the abuser and to remove his/her contact.

JULY 6, 2021. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey about cyberbullying.

 

An overwhelming majority of Russians (84%) use the Internet; 72% use it on a daily basis; a third of respondents (34%) spend online more than 4 hours a day. Sixteen percent of Russians do not use the Internet.

The most popular social media platforms in Russia are Vkontakte (48%), Instagram (39%), YouTube (34%), Odnoklassniki (32%), and TikTok (17%). Sixteen percent of Russians do not use social media.

Russian Internet users consider that online harassment can often be encountered on social media platforms such as Vkontakte    (22%), Instagram (18%), TikTok (13%), YouTube (10%) and Odnoklassniki (8%). At the same time, 8% say that they have never come across such behavior on social media; 5% say that aggressive behavior is common for any social platform.

According to 42% of Russian online users, the number of offensive posts and comments in the Russian Internet segment has increased over the recent five years. Twenty-seven percent of respondents say this number remains the same; 9% report a decline.

Respondents say they have faced the following types of cyberbullying: 10% of respondents received harsh comments (49% came across such comments directed at other users); 7% have suffered from trolling and barbed jokes (39% know similar cases); 6% got offended because of views, gender and age (34% have seen the same thing directed at other people); 5% say that another person spread rumors about them (31% witnessed similar situations); 3% got threatened (2% witnessed threats directed at others); 2% say their private information was revealed (21% know similar cases); 1% had their photos or videos published in offensive ways (26% saw the same thing related to other persons).

Half of Russian Internet users (49%) believe that the best way to handle online harassment and aggressive behavior is to block the offender and delete the contact. Twenty-three percent of respondents believe that any abuse should be reported to user support; 22% consider that the situation should be ignored; 19% would turn to law enforcement bodies; 7% would stop using social media.

Russian nationwide VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on June 11, 2021. A total of 1,600 of Russians aged 18 and older took part in the survey. Results are based on telephone interviews. Stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of Russian landline and mobile phone numbers was used. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes to the wording of questions and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

 

Do you use the Internet?  If so, how often? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents
I spend online more than 4 h daily  34
I use the Internet every day, less than 4 h a day 38
Several times a week 8
Several times a month 3
Occasionally, but at least once every six months 1
Never 16

 

Do you use social media? If so, what social media do you use? Any number of answers (closed-ended question, any number of answers, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents
Vkontakte 48
Instagram 39
YouTube 34
Odnoklassniki 32
TikTok 17
Facebook 13
Twitter 4
Live Journal 3
Another platform (specify) 15
I do not use social media 16

 

In your opinion, on what social media are you more likely to come across offence and other repeated abusive behaviors from users? (open-ended question, up to 2 answers, % of total Internet users)
  Total Internet users
Vkontakte 22
Instagram 18
TikTok 13
YouTube 10
Odnoklassniki 8
It is not found on social media 8
On any social media platform 5
Facebook 3
Twitter 2
Live Journal 1
Other   2
Don’t know 29

 

In your opinion, has the number of offensive posts and users’ comments directed at each other increased, decreased or remained the same in the Russian Internet segment over the recent five years? closed-ended question, one answer, % of total Internet users)
  Total Internet users
Increased 42
Decreased 9
Remained the same 27
Don’t know / I cannot assess it 22

 

Have you personally faced the following types of harassment, repeated aggressive behaviors among Internet users, or not? (closed-ended question, up to 3 answers per each line, % of Internet users)  
Spread of offensive rumors  
  Total Internet users
Directed at me 5
Directed at other users 31
I was an initiator, participant 0
Never faced that 61
Don’t know 2
Publication of offensive photos, videos  
Directed at me 1
Directed at other users 26
I was an initiator, participant 0
Never faced that 68
Don’t know 5
Threats of violence, threats of pain
Directed at me 3
Directed at other users 21
I was an initiator, participant 0
Never faced that 74
Don’t know 4
Brutal comments, insults in comments
Directed at me 10
Directed at other users 49
I was an initiator, participant 1
Never faced that 44
Don’t know 2
Gender/age/ viewpoint-based abuse
Directed at me 6
Directed at other users 34
I was an initiator, participant 1
Never faced that 58
Don’t know 4
Publication of private information, private photos, videos
Directed at me 2
Directed at other users 21
I was an initiator, participant 0
Never faced that 72
Don’t know 4
Barbed jokes, trolling
Directed at me 7
Directed at other users 39
I was an initiator, participant 2
Never faced that 54
Don’t know 3

 

Imagine a person close to you faced abuse or aggressive behavior on social media. What would you advise him/her to do first? (open-ended question, any number of answers, % of total Internet users)
  Total Internet users
To block the user and delete the contact  49
To report to user support  23
To ignore the situation/do nothing/no efforts needed 22
To turn to law enforcement bodies 19
To stop using social media for a while 7
To talk to the  user, to persuade him/her to stop 6
Other   4
Don’t know 3

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.

 

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