37.9% of Young People Reported Cyberbullying in Bahrain

13 Jul 2017

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (TRA) launched The National Internet Safety Review (NISR) on tra.bh, measuring the exposure and awareness behavior of youths to risky online behavior in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The study was conducted from a survey sample of 2,433 people, 1,637 of which were (12 -18 years old) which was made possible through the vital cooperation of schools around the country. Among all of the risks identified, Cyberbullying was found to be the largest threat to young people surveyed.

“The implications of cyberbullying alone is a staggering problem.” Says Ms. Mariam Al Mannai, TRA Consumer Affairs Manager, “While caregivers might mistakenly assume this is a minor threat, they shouldn’t. The effect it has on people – children in particular are far-reaching; including psychological stress, withdrawn and anti-social behavior, a higher risk of clinical depression, and could even result in under performance in schools.” She continued.

The NISR identified Cyberbullying as a key government and educational priority in safeguarding young people online. It was reported by 37.9% of youths that they were victims of cyberbullying, but it’s just as alarming that 30% admitted to engaging in cyberbullying themselves. After correlating the data, it was determined that a 23.1% overlap existed who were both cyberbullies and were cyberbullied. According to the study, instant messaging, text messaging and social networking platforms are the three most common mediums used for cyberbullying in the Kingdom.

Another problem identified as a risk was the possibility of meeting strangers online. It’s apparent that the number of people sharing private information with strangers online, and subsequently meeting them, has dropped significantly from 43% in 2010 to 16.4% in 2015 as a result of TRA’s Cyber Security initiatives. While this is a positive indicator, meeting strangers is still a major issue due to the severe nature of the potential negative impact it could have on young people.

TRA believes that there is a critical need for policy makers and members of the educational community to take the recommendations of the NISR into consideration, implement preventive measures, and share the responsibility to educate people on cyberbullying issues. To learn more about the cybersafety situation in the Kingdom, the NISR study is available on TRA’s website.

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