Top Pro & Con Arguments


Social media promotes cyberbullying that spills into offline life.

Cyberbullying is “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (such as a student) often done anonymously.” Specific types of cyberbullying include but are not limited to: flaming (online arguments with personal attacks), outing (revealing someone’s sexual orientation without permission), trolling (being antagonistic to start arguments), and doxing (revealing private information without permission). [313] [314]

66% of teens believe social media companies are not doing enough to curb cyberbullying.  And 33% of kids have deleted a social media account to avoid cyberbullying. [314] [315]

Pew Research Center found 59% of American teens had been bullied online, including offensive name-calling (42%), false rumors (32%), unsolicited receipt of explicit images (25%), “someone other than a parent constantly ask where they are, who they’re with or what they’re doing” (21%), physical threats (18%), and non-consensual sharing of explicit images of the teen (7%). [315]

However, not only teens engage in cyberbullying or experience the effects. Kids as young as ten face cyberbullying, specifically racist attacks, globally. [314]

And 41% of American adults reported being harassed online, ranging from offensive name-calling (31%) to stalking (11%). Adults were most likely to be targeted for political views (50%), their gender (33%), race or ethnicity (29%), religion (19%), and sexual orientation (16%). 75% of adults who have been cyberbullied indicated the harassment happened on social media. [316]

The harms carry over into offline life. People under the age of 25 who were cyberbullied were more than twice as likely to “self-harm and enact suicidal behavior” than non-victims. [317]

Cyberbullying victims of any age are subject to mental, emotional, and physical harms, including upset, embarrassment, anxiety, shame, depression, loss of sleep, headaches, and stomachaches. Victims may be less productive or skip school and work. Some may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the distress. [318]

Cyberbullying can also have large-scale global implications. Amnesty International accused Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp among others) of fueling the Rohingya massacres in Myanmar. The organization stated: “The mass dissemination of messages that advocated hatred, inciting violence, and discrimination against the Rohingya, as well as other dehumanizing and discriminatory anti-Rohingya content, poured fuel on the fire of long-standing discrimination and substantially increased the risk of an outbreak of mass violence.” [319]

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