Vodafone has released the findings of a global survey spanning 11 countries, including South Africa, which revealed that more than half of teenagers think cyber-bullying is worse than face-to-face bullying.
The survey, one of the largest global surveys of its kind included almost 5,000 teens and reveals one in five teens are cyberbullied, a fifth of whom felt suicidal. In addition, 43 per cent of the participants believe it to be a bigger problem for young people than drug abuse.
The global online survey conducted by YouGov, an international internet-based market research firm, found that an average of around 18% of teens across the countries surveyed had been cyberbullied and, as a result:
· 41 per cent said cyberbullying made them feel depressed or helpless (also 41%)
· 26 per cent felt ‘completely alone’ and 18 per cent experienced suicidal thoughts
· 21 per cent had ‘not gone to school’ and 25 per cent closed down their social media accounts
· 38 per cent said they did not tell their parents or guardians, as they felt ashamed (32%), scared their parents would get involved (40%), or worried what their parents might do (36%).
Forty-three per cent of those surveyed would find it hard to support a friend who had been bullied on social media, as they ‘could not find the right words’ to show support. Seventy-two per cent of teens said they would be likely to use an emoji to express compassion or support for friends being cyberbullied.
In response to the findings, Vodafone today launches the #BeStrong anti-cyberbullying emoji initiative, which involved the creation of a suite of ‘support emojis’ to raise awareness of the importance of conveying compassion, sympathy and support when friends are being bullied online. The emojis were chosen by the 4,720 teens surveyed from a wide selection designed by Vodafone and its anti-bullying panel as their favourite symbols for compassion and support. The favourite two sets of emojis can be seen below.
Commenting in a new video released today, the psychologist adviser for ‘Inside Out’ film, Berkley University Professor Dacher Keltner explains the importance of teens being able to offer support and show sympathy to their peers being cyberbullied. He said: “A lot of emojis can be limited for communicating emotions. The bystander needs better tools. Specific emojis that they can send their friends to show that they are there for them.”
Vodafone Foundation Director Andrew Dunnett, said: “The results of the global survey – which we believe to be one of the largest of its kind among teenagers in so many countries – will be a serious concern for any parent. The new generation that was born digital thrives in a world of constant connectivity, but there are clear risks for young people as well as benefits – and it is striking that cyberbullying troubles many young people more than drug abuse. Our research showed many teenagers find it difficult to help their friends when cyberbullying is happening, and the #BeStrong campaign has been created to help them convey emotional support”.
Vodacom will support the campaign through its social media platforms and will encourage it customers to support this anti-bullying initiative.
Survey highlights across the 11 countries
To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Cyberbullying is worse than bullying face to face/ in person
Of the 11 countries surveyed, children aged 13-18 surveyed in the UK are the least likely to think cyberbullying is worse than bullying face to face (35%), whereas over six in 10 (64%) of the children surveyed in South Africa would agree that cyberbullying is worse than bulling face to face.
|I have been cyberbullied (i.e. bullied online)||I have heard of cyberbullying happen to someone else|
Of the 11 countries surveyed, children aged 13-18 surveyed in New Zealand are most likely to have ever personally been bullied; 3 in 10 children in New Zealand, followed by 27% of those surveyed in USA and 26% of those surveyed in Ireland.
Children surveyed in the Czech Republic are the least likely to have personally been cyberbullied of the 11 countries surveyed.
Of those children surveyed in New Zealand who said they had personally been bullied, over 3 in 5 reported feeling upset (62%), over half said they were angry with the bully (53%) and 47% said they felt depressed.
Of the children surveyed from the UK who had said they had been cyberbullied, over half (54%) said it made them think of themselves in a more negative way.
Through which ONE of the following ways do you think you would find it **easier** to express your feelings or views to them?
|Using words||Using emojis||Using a combination of words and emojis|
Children aged 13-18 surveyed in the Netherlands are most likely to say they find it easier to express themselves using emojis (18%)
Half of children surveyed in Italy said they find easier to express themselves using words
The majority of children surveyed in South Africa (60%), the Czech Republic (58%) and New Zealand (54%) said they found it easier using a combination of both emojis and words.
How likely or unlikely would you be to share with them an emoji that has been created to show support/ compassion for people who are being cyberbullied (e.g. on social media, via text message etc.)?
Children aged 13-18 surveyed in South Africa would be most likely to share an emoji that has been created to show support/ compassion for people who are being cyberbullied (90%), followed by Italy (83%) and Greece (77%)
Money talks and electronic gaming evolves
Computer gaming has evolved dramatically in the last two years, as it follows the money, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the second of a two-part series.
The clue that gaming has become big business in South Africa was delivered by a non-gaming brand. When Comic Con, an American popular culture convention that has become a mecca for comics enthusiasts, was hosted in South Arica for the first time last month, it used gaming as the major drawcard. More than 45 000 people attended.
The event and its attendance was expected to be a major dampener for the annual rAge gaming expo, which took place just weeks later. Instead, rAge saw only a marginal fall in visitor numbers. No less than 34 000 people descended on the Ticketpro Dome for the chaos of cosplay, LAN gaming, virtual reality, board gaming and new video games.
It proved not only that there was room for more than one major gaming event, but also that a massive market exists for the sector in South Africa. And with a large market, one also found numerous gaming niches that either emerged afresh or will keep going over the years. One of these, LAN (for Local Area Network) gaming, which sees hordes of players camping out at the venue for three days to play each other on elaborate computer rigs, was back as strong as ever at rAge.
MWeb provided an 8Gbps line to the expo, to connect all these gamers, and recorded 120TB in downloads and 15Tb in uploads – a total that would have used up the entire country’s bandwidth a few years ago.
“LANs are supposed to be a thing of the past, yet we buck the trend each year,” says Michael James, senior project manager and owner of rAge. “It is more of a spectacle than a simple LAN, so I can understand.”
New phenomena, often associated with the flavour of the moment, also emerge every year.
“Fortnite is a good example this year of how we evolve,” says James. “It’s a crazy huge phenomenon and nobody was servicing the demand from a tournament point of view. So rAge and Xbox created a casual LAN tournament that anyone could enter and win a prize. I think the top 10 people got something each round.”
Read on to see how esports is starting to make an impact in gaming.
Blockchain is generally associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, says ESET Southern Africa.
This technology was originally conceived in 1991, when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described their first work on a chain of cryptographically secured blocks, but only gained notoriety in 2008, when it became popular with the arrival of Bitcoin. It is currently gaining demand in other commercial applications and its annual growth is expected to reach 51% by 2022 in numerous markets, such as those of financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to MarketWatch.
What is blockchain?
A blockchain is a unique, consensual record that is distributed over multiple network nodes. In the case of cryptocurrencies, think of it as the accounting ledger where each transaction is recorded.
A blockchain transaction is complex and can be difficult to understand if you delve into the inner details of how it works, but the basic idea is simple to follow.
Each block stores:
– A number of valid records or transactions.
– Information referring to that block.
– A link to the previous block and next block through the hash of each block—a unique code that can be thought of as the block’s fingerprint.
Accordingly, each block has a specific and immovable place within the chain, since each block contains information from the hash of the previous block. The entire chain is stored in each network node that makes up the blockchain, so an exact copy of the chain is stored in all network participants.
As new records are created, they are first verified and validated by the network nodes and then added to a new block that is linked to the chain.
How is blockchain so secure?
Being a distributed technology in which each network node stores an exact copy of the chain, the availability of the information is guaranteed at all times. So if an attacker wanted to cause a denial-of-service attack, they would have to annul all network nodes since it only takes one node to be operative for the information to be available.
Besides that, since each record is consensual, and all nodes contain the same information, it is almost impossible to alter it, ensuring its integrity. If an attacker wanted to modify the information in a blockchain, they would have to modify the entire chain in at least 51% of the nodes.
In blockchain, data is distributed across all network nodes. With no central node, all participate equally, storing, and validating all information. It is a very powerful tool for transmitting and storing information in a reliable way; a decentralised model in which the information belongs to us, since we do not need a company to provide the service.
What else can blockchain be used for?
Essentially, blockchain can be used to store any type of information that must be kept intact and remain available in a secure, decentralised and cheaper way than through intermediaries. Moreover, since the information stored is encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, as only those who have the encryption key can access it.
Use of blockchain in healthcare
Health records could be consolidated and stored in blockchain, for instance. This would mean that the medical history of each patient would be safe and, at the same time, available to each doctor authorised, regardless of the health centre where the patient was treated. Even the pharmaceutical industry could use this technology to verify medicines and prevent counterfeiting.
Use of blockchain for documents
Blockchain would also be very useful for managing digital assets and documentation. Up to now, the problem with digital is that everything is easy to copy, but Blockchain allows you to record purchases, deeds, documents, or any other type of online asset without them being falsified.
Other blockchain uses
This technology could also revolutionise the Internet of Things (IoT) market where the challenge lies in the millions of devices connected to the internet that must be managed by the supplier companies. In a few years’ time, the centralised model won’t be able to support so many devices, not to mention the fact that many of these are not secure enough. With blockchain, devices can communicate through the network directly, safely, and reliably with no need for intermediaries.
Blockchain allows you to verify, validate, track, and store all types of information, from digital certificates, democratic voting systems, logistics and messaging services, to intelligent contracts and, of course, money and financial transactions.
Without doubt, blockchain has turned the immutable and decentralized layer the internet has always dreamed about into a reality. This technology takes reliance out of the equation and replaces it with mathematical fact.