Teen girls targeted most as cases of e-bullying rise


TAIPEI–School children seeking medical help due to suffering caused by cyber-bullying have increased 20 to 30 percent from five years ago, the majority of whom are teenage girls, according to a psychiatrist. The most common form of cyber-bullying is the spreading of malicious comments on the Internet, which can cause mental anguish for the target, yet is mostly ignored as a problem in today’s society, said Yeh Chi-pin, director of psychiatry for teenagers and children at the Tri-Service General Hospital.

One teenage girl became distraught after finding out that her peers had posted nasty comments about her on Facebook, he said.

She was too frightened to go to school and suffered from depression for several weeks, even contemplating suicide, Yeh said.

She was eventually treated with medication and counseling, he added.

Wen Hsin-hsueh, a social worker at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, said in a study of cyber-bullying that among the various forms of e-bullying, anonymous emails containing bad comments cause the most harm to those being targeted.