Online abuse comes from families, social circles: Study
Most of those who have been targeted for abuse online and cyber bullying say their perpetrators came from their immediate families and social circles.
This has been revealed by a Digital Civility Index study titled "Civility, Safety and Interactions Online - 2017, conducted by Microsoft in conjunction with the international Safer Internet Day.
The study, conducted in 23 countries, up from 14 countries in 2016, measured the perceptions of teens and adults about the online risks they face and how their interactions affect their lives.
The study gauged the attitudes and perceptions of teens ages between 13 and17 and adults (ages 18-74) about the state of civility online today.
Microsoft measured respondents' lifetime exposure to 20 different online risks - three more than the previous year - across four categories: behavioral, reputational, sexual and personal/intrusive.
According to the latest study, people's digital interactions and responses to online risks appear to be improving around the world - though perhaps surprisingly, many of those who have been targeted for abuse online say their perpetrators came from their immediate families and social circles.
Indeed, nearly two in three respondents (61 per cent) said they had some familiarity with their online abusers.
More than a third (36 per cent) said they knew the perpetrator personally: 17 per cent responded that the perpetrator was a friend or a family member, while nearly one in five (19 per cent) said the perpetrator was an acquaintance.
One quarter of those surveyed said the offender was someone they knew only online, and 37 per cent said their online risk exposure came from a stranger.
Family and friends accounted for a high percentage of perpetrators among those who said they were bullied online (41 per cent) or discriminated against (36 per cent).