MUNI Study Finds That Six in Ten Czech Teenagers Have Come Into Contact With Cyberhate

Cyberhate is defined as hateful and aggressive content published via the Internet or other media. Photo Credit: Freepik 

Brno, Sept. 29 (BD) – Experts from the IRTIS team at Masaryk University’s Faculty of Social Studies surveyed 3,083 households in 2021 to assess teenagers’ experiences with cyberhate, both as victims and perpetrators, and how aware their parents or carers are of their adolescents’ online lives.

According to the research, teenagers encountered cyberbullying most often as spectator-witnesses. “Our results show that up to 59% of Czech teenagers aged between 11 and 16 years have come across cyberhate content. For most of them, it was an unintentional exposure that had a negative emotional impact,” said Marie Bedrošová, author of the research report.

The results show that 16% of adolescents were victims of cyberbullying, with the most common attacks being related to their sexual orientation. Attacks because of race, ethnicity, nationality or religion were less common. The least common experience was when adolescents participated in cyberbullying as aggressors (7%). According to Bedrošová, the research also shows that most parents and carers of these children did not know that something like this had happened, and could therefore not offer their children the support they needed. 

“Prevention and education of young people should focus not only on how to deal with victims or bystanders, but also on how to react to these acts, for example by making sure that adolescents know about the possibilities of reporting hateful content or attacks,” said Marie Bedros.

The MUNI experts therefore recommend that parents also communicate negative experiences on the Internet with their children and create an atmosphere of communication in which the child is not afraid to share such experiences with them. The full research report ‘Cyberhate in Czech Families’ („Kybernenávist v českých rodinách“) was published as part of the project “Modelling the future: Understanding the impact of technology on adolescents’ well-being” (FUTURE).

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