Nearly a third of Internet users between the ages of 14 and 18 have been victimised by online trolling during the past six months, according to a survey conducted by youth volunteering charity vInspired.
The study further found that more than a quarter of the 2,000 teenagers who participated in the survey claimed to have been targeted by regular attacks, while one in 10 admitted to having indulged in trolling themselves.
Much of the trolling was based on the victims' physical appearance (40 per cent) and/or their race or religion (16 per cent). Facebook emerged as the most popular platforms for trolling.
"We have all heard of cases where youngsters have harmed themselves due to troll attacks - so writing a trolling message isn't harmless fun, it's potentially deadly," said vInspired CEO Terry Ryall.
"Our aim isn't to attack the trolls, but instead to get young people to do something positive and pledge not to be a troll themselves, abiding by the 'netiquette' guide we have created," she added.
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