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Cybersmile Publish National Gen Z Report Exploring the Prevalence and Emotional Impact of Identity-Based Cyberbullying in the U.S.

In addition to offering powerful insights into the realities of life online for Gen Z, The State of Play Report also contains expert advice for being a better digital citizen, best practice tips for dealing with cyberbullying as an intended target as well as a bystander and a series of direct links to Cybersmile education and support resources. You can download full State of Play Report by clicking on the image above. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.

Cybersmile have announced the launch of a new national report focusing on the prevalence and emotional impact of identity-based cyberbullying on Gen Z in the U.S. The study, titled ‘The State of Play Report’ is published today and has been sponsored by CO. by Colgate.

We asked 1,096 respondents between the ages of 16 – 24 a series of 22 questions relating to their own experiences online in regards to identity-based bullying and abuse. Respondents were asked to share their experiences of identity-based bullying as bystanders and how these experiences affected them. Identity groups present in the study include racial or ethnic, gender, sexual, religious beliefs, perceived physical and mental ableness, physical appearance, skin tone, personal opinion and expression of individuality. The full report can be downloaded here.

Key findings from The State of Play Report include:

  • 62% of respondents have been targeted with online bullying, abuse or harassment.
  • 87% of respondents have seen someone targeted with online bullying, abuse or harassment.
  • 90% of respondents have seen someone bullied online based on their physical appearance.
  • 78% of respondents have seen someone bullied online for their racial or ethnic identity.
  • 77% of respondents have seen someone bullied online for their gender identity.
  • 74% of respondents have seen someone bullied online for their perceived physical or mental ableness.
  • 74% of respondents have seen someone bullied online for expressing their individuality or identity.
  • 73% of respondents have seen someone bullied, abused or harassed online based on their skin tone.
  • 78% of respondents have seen someone bullied, abused or harassed online based on their sexual identity.
  • 74% of respondents have seen someone bullied, abused or harassed online for their religious beliefs.
  • 86% of respondents have seen someone bullied, abused or harassed online for expressing their opinion.

In addition to offering powerful insights into the realities of life online for Gen Z, The State of Play Report also contains expert advice for being a better digital citizen, best practice tips for dealing with cyberbullying as an intended target as well as a bystander and a series of direct links to Cybersmile education and support resources.

“As Gen Z continue to spend more and more time online it has never been more important for Cybersmile to deepen our understanding of the true extent and impact of identity-based bullying, harassment and abuse online. Identity-based bullying and abuse can lead to a wide range of issues which deeply affect not only the intended targets of the abuse, but also larger numbers of people who have been indirectly exposed to the abusive and problematic content. In addition to helping Cybersmile understand the extent of the problem, this important State of Play report provides us with crucial insights into the emotional impact of identity-based bullying and abuse. The powerful data from this report will play a key role in the effective development of scalable and sustainable volunteer training and support resources for a wide range of identity-based bullying and abuse related problems.”

Laura Lewandowski, Chief Policy Officer, The Cybersmile Foundation

As part of our ongoing work with CO. by Colgate, we will be holding a roundtable discussion on cyberbullying to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month featuring actress Alisha Boe and Cybersmile’s resident wellbeing and parenting expert, Dr. Deborah Gilboa. The online event will focus on the prevalence and emotional impact cyberbullying has on Gen Z, as well as best practices for being a better digital citizen.

Cybersmile and CO. believe in an inclusive future where everyone can express themselves freely and live their truth boldly. For every CO. by Colgate product purchased in 2021, $1 will be donated to The Cybersmile Foundation, for a minimum donation of $200,000 and a maximum of $300,000. You can learn more about our partnership with CO. by Colgate here.

“At CO. by Colgate, we envision a world where everyone can express themselves freely and that’s why we’re proud to partner with The Cybersmile Foundation on The State of Play Report. Founded on the values of inclusivity and authentic self-expression, CO. by Colgate believes that a smile is a powerful tool in building connections across all people and identities. Yet, we have seen how easily bias can turn into cyberbullying, and no one understands this better than the current, rising generation-Gen Z. Through The State of Play Report, our mission is to show how we can reimagine a healthier future for all – one where everyone feels confident be who they truly are, without fear.”

Dana Medema, Vice President & General Manager, Oral Care, Colgate-North America

Join the Instagram Live Event at 6:00 p.m. EST today and hear from CO. by Colgate, The Cybersmile Foundation, and Alisha Boe. For more information, visit @CO.Colgate and @cybersmilefoundation to learn about identity-based bullying.

The State of Play Report is based on a survey conducted by Persky and fielded among 1,096 people, ages 16 – 24 years old, from June 3 to June 4, 2021.

If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, we can help you. Visit our Help Center or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to open Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.

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What are your thoughts on the findings from the report? Let us know by contacting us or tweet us @CybersmileHQ.