This morning, I was invited to present the Malaysian findings of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing‘s Global Youth Online Behavior Study at the 10th Asia Pacific Internet Research Alliance (APIRA) International Conference held in Kuala Lumpur.
This issue of cyberbullying – and the survey findings – have been close to my heart.
The survey findings touched a raw nerve in Malaysian society because of the rising trend of online abuse. Alarmingly, the survey revealed that 1-in-3 Malaysian children say they have been subjected to a range of online activities that some may consider to be online bullying. In fact, the Malaysian study findings eventually formed the basis of this cover story by The Star: “Virtual Punks“.
It’s not just young, teenage fan girls who’re getting abused. Local YouTubers have spoken up regularly about Internet “trolls”, a term to describe people who persistently post negative comments online to provoke someone. It has become a wider part of Internet culture, and everyone from footballers and reality TV stars to the average Malaysian teenager is a potential target, largely thanks to the anonymity afforded by the Internet.
So, as a parent, it thus became my vested interest to follow this issue closely and to go beyond the statistics. This is a starkly real issue that needs to be addressed by the collective efforts of parents, educators, experts and corporate citizens like Microsoft.
Here are the slides I presented. I hope, like me, you will also be moved to action: