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Cyberbullying & Company. From Myths to Empirical Evidence


Cyberbullying and other online risks have been given lately growing attention by popular media, policy makers, academics, parents and educators. Beyond any deterministic views of technology and its impact on individuals (particularly children) as well as beyond the mythological views and moral panic that often dominate public discourses about children and digital technologies, this chapter argues for a more evidence-based and multidimensional/contextual approach that locates cyberbullying within the complex network of children’s online activities, socio-demographic variables, parental, peer’s and teachers’ mediation, ICT country-specific regulation, educational systems, etc. Drawing from the findings of the EU Kids Online survey1, it also argues that online benefits are inevitably connected to risks, and concludes that, although cyberbullying is a rather residual phenomenon compared to face-to-face bullying or to other online risks, it still deserves close attention in terms of research and policy intervention as its rates are growing and its impact on young people (especially smaller children) is heavier and more persistent.