Ofcom: Just one in six teens and young adults flag harmful content they encounter online

A person using a smartphone

The UK’s digital regulator, Ofcom, has revealed that just one in six teens and young adults report harmful content they encounter online. The regulator is launching a campaign to encourage young people to report this type of content so that others do not have to see it in the future.

The main reason that people aren’t reporting content is that they don’t see a need to do anything. Another significant chunk of the respondents said they didn’t believe their report would make a difference. About 12% of the respondents who did want to report content said they didn’t know how to report it.

The main harms that young people encountered online were as follows:

  • Offensive language (28%)
  • Misinformation (23%)
  • Scams, fraud, and phishing (22%)
  • Unwelcome friend or follow requests (21%)
  • Trolling (17%)
  • Bullying, abusive behaviour, and threats (14%)

Ofcom’s campaign is launching today with the help of TikTok influencer Lewis Leigh. The campaign will try to encourage young people to report content if they find it problematic, rather than just scroll past it. The campaign will try to convince them that their reports do make the internet a better place. If you want to check out the campaign, have a look at Lewis Leigh’s posts on TikTok and Instagram.

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