Women more often targets of cyberbullies: study

According to a 2018 Ipsos Global Adviser study conducted in 28 countries, South Africa is number one when it comes to cyber-bullying and often, women are the targets. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - According to a 2018 Ipsos Global Adviser study conducted in 28 countries, South Africa is number one when it comes to cyberbullying.

And often, women are the targets.

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The impact of misogynistic cyberbullying means having a social media presence has implications if you're a woman.

Many face death or rape threats for expressing an opinion, or merely being online and the verbal assaults can cut deeply.

Educational psychologist Jessie-Anne Bird said women have historically been at risk of being silenced.

"Online platforms are the new public spaces and I do believe that there are people there who are still resentful of women having a voice," she said.

READ: Cyber bullied teen commits suicide

eNCA journalist Heidi Giokos has been on the receiving end of online bullying.

A video was posted online showing her speaking to a news anchor off-air before a live crossing, a common practice in newsrooms across the world but that didn't stop online bullies.

Giokos related her distress at the constant harassment.

"I started to question myself and my role as a journalist," she said.

Insurer 1st For Women has even introduced social media insurance to help victims fight back.

While people like Giokos are able to move on, not everyone can.

Some women have been driven offline, endure constant mental distress and have even taken their own lives just to escape the onslaught of harassment.

Source
eNCA

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