Nevada Tops the List of Worst States for Cyberbullying
When it comes to the worst US states for cyberbullying across the US, Nevada tops the list.
Research by Website Builder Expert investigated the extent of online bullying across the 50 states by cross-referencing data for the percentage of hostile comments, the percentage of people who have claimed online harassment, and whether or not each state has legislation in place to protect citizens against cyberbullying.
Individual rankings from these factors were then combined to expose the states with the biggest cyberbullying problem and where victims suffer the most due to loose or ineffective laws for punishing perpetrators.
Nevada was revealed as the state with the most toxic online bullies, where claims of online harassment or violent threats are some of the highest in the country. Interestingly, Nevada does have a law against cyberbullying, but the high level of malicious online behavior seen in the state suggests that this does little to dissuade people from posting aggressive content.
In fact, the study found that five of the ten worst states in the ranking—which includes Florida, Illinois and New York—already legislate against cyberbullying, further proving the inefficacy of current legislation.
Surprisingly, California, often perceived as more liberal and tech-tolerant, ranked in the top 10 worst states for cyberbullying, performing poorly for the volume of online abuse claims (sixth), despite cyberbullying being classified as a criminal misdemeanor.
Vermont and Maryland were revealed as two of the worst offenders for not adequately protecting their citizens, with little to no legal protection for victims. Vermont had the highest rate of hostile comments across the study, yet no cyberbullying law to penalize online offenders. Similarly, Maryland had the highest percentage of online harassment claimants but no legislation to help them get justice.
“The insurgence of ‘keyboard warriors’ and internet trolls shows just how badly the current legislature around digital behaviors is failing,” said Alex English, lead research at Website Builder Expert. “Unfortunately, in this digital age, it is easier than ever to post inflammatory comments online and seemingly, get away with it. We are in desperate need of new laws which bridge the gap between the real and virtual world.”
Source: Information Security Magazine