Friday, June 21, 2024
spot_imgspot_img

Online Cyber-Crimes and Aggression Case Study Among Adolescents in Canada

For most Canadians, Internet use is ingrained in everyday life—for banking, schooling, remote work, information, services and socialization. Younger generations have grown up with the Internet and this affects the nature of their online interactions and engagements. For instance, in 2023, young people aged 15 to 24 were the most likely to get their news and information from social media (62% compared with 18% of older Canadians).

Online hate and aggression among young people in Canada

Frequent social media and Internet use can place younger people at a higher risk of experiencing or being incited to perpetrate online harms and cyberaggression, from exposure to harmful online content to cyber-related hate crimes and other acts of cyberbullying, such as sexual exploitation targeting specific individuals.

In recognition of Pink Shirt Day (February 28), we are publishing this article on cyberaggression among young people, using data from four surveys: the Canadian Social Survey, the Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS), the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS) and the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey.

More than 7 in 10 young people have been exposed to online hate and violence

Exposure to online hate and violence can come in many forms. Disinformation and misinformation are types of information that intend to manipulate and exaggerate the truth to cause harm, whereas misinformation refers to news or information that is verifiably false, inaccurate, or misleading, without the intention of harm. All three can contain elements or undertones of aggression and can promote or propagate hate.

Based on data from the 2022 CIUS, more than 8 in 10 Canadians aged 15 to 24 (84%) saw information online in the year before the survey that they suspected to be false, a proportion considerably higher than the national average (70%). Despite this exposure, young people were less concerned about online misinformation (41% versus 59%).

Online Cyber-Crimes and Aggression Case Study Among Adolescents in Canada

Not only were young people more often exposed to misinformation, but they were also more likely to see content that could incite hate or violence. This type of content can consist of but is not limited to, terrorist content or violence toward ethnic groups. In 2022, young Canadians aged 15 to 24 were the most likely of any age group to have seen content online over the previous 12 months that incites hate or violence, with 71% reporting seeing media that may incite hate or violence, higher than the national average of 49%.

Seeing online hate was more common among young Canadians with a disability. Young people aged 15 to 24 with a disability (29%) were over 2.5 times as likely as young people without a disability (11%) to have seen content daily that may incite hate. There were, however, no differences in the overall volume of exposure to online hate by gender or racialized group among young people aged 15 to 24, though the same content can have a different impact on different viewers.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Frequency of seeing content that may incite hate or violence in the 12 months prior to the survey, by age group, 2022
Frequency of seeing content that may incite hate or violence in the 12 months before the survey, by age group, 2022