Facebook is the worst social networking site for internet trolling, and bullying is now more prevalent online than anywhere else, according to a study.
Eighty-seven per cent of teenagers who reported cyber abuse said they had been targeted on Facebook, while about a fifth had been picked on by Twitter trolls. Those most frequently victimised were boys aged 19.
The report said 49 per cent of those targeted by bullies had been victimised off-line, while 65 per cent of teenagers were subjected to abuse in cyberspace.
Only 37 per cent of those who had experienced trolling ever reported it to the site in question.
Knowthenet, which released the study, has launched a “trolling hub”, offering advice on how to deal with online bullying.
Emma-Jane Cross, founder of the charity BeatBullying, said many young people were suffering in silence. “Bullying both on and off-line continues to be a serious problem for a huge number of teenagers and we cannot ignore its often devastating and tragic effects,” she said.
“We work with hundreds of young people being cyber-bullied or trolled so badly that it can lead to depression, truancy, self-harm, or even force them to contemplate or attempt suicide.”
Media psychologist Arthur Cassidy said online bullying could have a “massive impact” on older male teenagers.