Calls for ‘legal duty’ on social media firms to protect youngsters

Social media users are more likely to blame victims for online abuse than perpetrators because they may have become “numb” to cyber-bullying, new research suggests.

Researchers set up dummy Facebook profiles and posted a range of positive, neutral and negative comments for their study. They then asked a selected group of people to look at the fake conversations and fill in a questionnaire.

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The study by Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of the West of Scotland found little sympathy for victims. People were less likely to be blamed for abuse and got more sympathy if they are considered more physically or socially attractive.