New DLSU study sheds light on how Filipino youth experience cyberbullying


Posted at Jul 03 2022 11:09 PM

MANILA - A new study done by a research team from De La Salle University showed Filipino youth experience a wider range of bullying and harassment on social media.

The report, "How Filipino Youth Identify and Act on Bullying and Harassment on Social Media", was done over a two-year period covering Metro Manila, Batangas, Negros Occidental and Misamis Occidental. 

It involved in-depth interviews with 152 Filipino youths of different genders and educational status. 

The research spotlights how Filipinos aged 15 to 24 describe cyberbullying, and how it is manifested across many digital spaces.

Based on the stories narrated by their respondents, the study found three main dimensions used by young people to identify bullying and harassment online. These include targets, acts and spaces.

One of the authors of the study, Jan Bernadas of the LDSU Department of Communication, explained targets as the aims of the bullying and harassment.

"Bullying and harassment can be aimed at individuals. Beyond this, online posts, memes, and the like can also be aimed at groups like the queer community and ideas like believing in a particular political stance," he explained.

Acts, on the other hand, is what is actually done to bully or harass the other party.

"Bullying and harassment can be direct and in your face. But it can be veiled because you can just subtweet someone or talk about a person who isn’t part of the group chat you’re in,” explained another author Prof. Jason Cabañes.

“Sometimes, bullying is also concealed in the form of jokes, teasing, and sarcasm among friends that may seem like fun but are actually perceived as bullying and hurtful to the peers," he added.

Spaces is where the bullying and harassment occurs.

"These things can start in a private chat. But it can escalate to the point that it happens openly on social media, like what you see with bashing or with cancel culture," said Kimberly Kaye Mata of the DLSU Department of Psychology.

To address the issues revealed through the study, the team will be launching a series of online videos for the youth, along with downloadable posters for schools and guardians.

These materials will be available in English, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, and Bisaya, and will be launched on July 8 as part of the DLSU 2022 Research Congress.

Prof. Maria Caridad Tarroja said the multimedia materials will help address the issue of cyberbullying by involving the community.

"Responding to the challenge of social media bullying and harassment cannot just be done by the Filipino youth alone. Alongside these young people, there also needs to be a collective responses from social media platforms and local communities," she said.

The full report and the materials are available on the DLSU website


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