Digi and Telenor reiterate support for ‘Stop Cyberbullying Day 2016’
By Digital News Asia June 21, 2016
- Following its CyberSAFE programme, Digi pledges to educate all on online bullying
- 1-in-4 Malaysian schoolkids have experienced cyberbullying, but more aware than most
DIGI Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and Telenor Group have reinforced their support for Stop Cyberbullying Day 2016, an international awareness day that aims to reduce cyberbullying globally and which took place on June 17 this year.
With an estimated half billion youth in Telenor Asia’s markets of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand accessing the Internet for the first time in the next five years, Digi and its parent company Telenor Group hope to educate young users on the benefits of connectivity, as well as how to navigate online threats.
READ ALSO: In Telenor markets, Malaysian youth are foremost ‘digital frontrunners’
Cyberbullying refers to electronic communication used for the purpose of bullying. With 37% of school students in Malaysia encountering or previously involved with cyberbullying, education is becoming increasingly key to mitigate growing online abuses rates, Digi said in a statement.
Launched by Cybersmile Foundation, Stop Cyberbullying Day utilises social media to spread an anti-cyberbullying message with the #SCD2016 hashtag. In 2015, the movement engaged 45 million people.
“Digi’s CyberSAFE programme in partnership with CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM), the Ministry of Education, and more recently in joint efforts with Unicef Malaysia, has been actively driving capacity building initiatives for youth and children,” said Philip Ling, Digi’s programme manager for sustainability.
“We have also stepped up our efforts to mitigate cyberbullying through enabling support systems for them through our partnerships with Childline Malaysia and the Royal Malaysian Police,” he added.
Internet usage by schoolchildren in all states in Malaysia is more than 90% on average, according to Digi, with one in four having experienced cyberbullying.
However, a 2015 study revealed that the majority of Malaysian schoolchildren are aware that such behaviours can be identified and reported.
In the face of online threats by peers, most Malaysian children are likely to adopt a privacy setting or blocking strategies, and are aware of the channels to report to teachers or relevant authorities.
Nonetheless, there is a high likelihood that some youngsters will keep quiet and hope the cyberbullying will stop, rather than consult a trusted adult, Digi said in its statement.
Malaysian students also ranked highly in terms of being aware of what constitutes socially acceptable behaviours on the Internet and are open to following online rules set by parents.
Overall, 67% said they felt able to improve or solve any cyberbullying problems themselves or with adult help.
Overall, 33% of Thai school students have experienced either ‘being bullied or disturbed online,’ ‘being bullied by the same person both online and offline’ or they have actually engaged in the act of bullying others online.
Additionally, 35% of Thai students have said they succumbed to at least one form of peer pressure such as being encouraged to visit unsuitable websites or use bad language online.
Of the Thai students encountering cyberbullying and online peer pressure, 59% responded that they felt capable of resolving such issues by themselves or with adult guidance.
Notable was the level of students in Thailand who said when faced with online issues that they do not know how to solve alone: 55% said they were likely to approach their parents, far higher than Bangladesh at 38% saying they would consult their guardians.
By frequently consulting with parents, children can better navigate the challenges of interactions online.
The online world is real enough
‘Be Smart Use Heart’ is Telenor’s symbol for initiatives across its global markets directed towards school-age children and their parents addressing cyberbullying.
The programmes provide information and tools to help children and parents cope with bullying online and address linked issues such as how to stay safe online and how to keep a mobile device secure.
- For more information on how to make the Internet a safer environment for youth, Telenor Group provides a Parent Guide: How to Talk to Your Children About the Internet.
- You can download a PDF copy of Digi CyberSAFE’s nationwide survey report on Malaysia schoolchildren and digital resiliency here.
- To read about Stop Cyberbullying Day, go here.
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