Studies Show That Cyber-bullies Were Once Victims

Keyboard warriors, as we affectionately call them, are usually behind these technology screens planning personal attacks on their victims.

But what made them keyboard warriors in the first place? Studies have shown that perhaps, they were once victims. 

Victims of a Vicious Cycle 

According to a large-scale study, one in nine adolescents has been victims of cyber bullying. In fact, close to half of them have, in turn, bullied others online. The study, which surveyed 3,319 students aged 12 to 17 from 28 schools, was done by the Singapore Children’s Society and the Institute of Mental Health in 2014. 

Furthermore, key findings released recently to The Straits Times stated that victims are more likely to have recurring headaches, socio-emotional and behavioural problems. As compared to those who have not been bullied, self-harming patterns and suicidal thoughts were more present in victims. 

While both genders are as likely to be cyber bullies, the victim usually has an idea of who the bully is. The most frequent tactics are shaming, calling the victims names and spreading rumours via social networking sites and texts. 

From Victims to Tormentors

Counsellors say victims easily turn into bullies themselves because they learn to imitate behaviour that they know hurts. With the nature of social medias, traces of aggressive action can be removed after a certain period of time. This emboldens bullies, given how their actions may not be traceable. 

Mr Shem Yao, an assistant manager at Touch Cyber Wellness, also cited that cyber-bullies may also employ cyber-baiting tactics by provoking victims to react in a negative manner. The bully would then follow up with a recorded video or picture online to shame the victim for this reactions. 

Singapore is also found to have the second highest rate (58 per cent) of cyber bullying worldwide, right behind China. This was done by a 2012 Microsoft study, making cyber-bullying issues a pertinent one among us.

Sometimes, even the bullies themselves need help to release their negative emotions in a healthier way. 

I don’t know about you, but this seems like a chicken-and-egg issue: who comes first, the bullies or the victims?


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Featured Image: Kylie Walls /

This article was first published on 

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Vanessa Ong

Vanessa Ong

An eighteen-year-old girl who is fond of words and the wonders of the world. Perpetually lost in her own thoughts, easily excitable and appreciates a great deal of humour.
Vanessa Ong