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40% of LGBT teens have experienced cyberbullying because of their sexual orientation

40% of LGBT teens have experienced cyberbullying because of their sexual orientation

July 2 (Portaltic/EP) –

One in four adolescents from the LGBT community has been a victim on the Internet for reasons of gender, being sextortion and ‘cyberbullying’ the main threats they face.

It is one of the data with which the cybersecurity expert company Panda Security wanted to commemorate the International LGBT Pride Day, It is celebrated every year on June 28.

The organization highlights that, despite the fact that young people and adolescents who define themselves as LGBT they have found on the internet a space where they can express themselves and interacting with other people of the same sexual orientation and gender identification, are also the most exposed to being attacked.

So much so that one in four adolescents from this group claims to have been a victim on the Internet for reasons of gender, which represents that 40 percent percent are cyberbullied because of their sexual orientation.

“Several studies show that this type of online harassment, which also normally occurs anonymously and more frequently to groups and minoritieshave serious consequences on the self-esteem and mental health of the youngest”, commented the Global Consumer Operations Manager of Panda Security, Hervé Lambert.

The company has exposed the most frequent types of cyberthreats towards the LGBT community, among which is the so-called ‘sexotortion’. This is a method used by cybercriminals to blackmail their victims so that they carry out a certain action or deliver a certain economic amount under the threat of publishing or sharing sensitive images.

Another of the proposed alternatives is ‘LGBTphobic cyberbullying’, which, according to Panda Security, has become the most frequent and damaging threat to young people.

This is the ‘bullying’ transferred to digital media, such as mobile phones, tablets or computers, through which the victims They are harassed and intimidated.

Cyberbullying differs from other types of bullying because it generally occurs between peers, whether they are children, adolescents and young people, and adults are not involved.

In Lambert’s words, “there are many legal loopholes on how to regulate the use and entry of the youngest into the digital world”, hence the best option is “opt for a good education and awareness of what happens on the network”.

LEGAL VOID

It should be pointed out that one of the most difficult aspects of combating this type of harassment is that the victims either do not report it or do not find the mechanisms and enough support to do so.

This is mainly due to the fact that there is no legal text that protects these people on social networks and on some of them, such as Twitter, it is very difficult to attend to such a large number of requests. to block profiles.

In this way, cyberbullies often continue to exert pressure on their victims without any filter that hinders or limits this interaction.


Due to this legal vacuum, some of these victims may have mental health problems and even think about the suicide.

According to a report carried out by the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB) ‘School bullying and risk of suicide due to sexual orientation and gender identity: Failure of the educational system’, 43 percent of young LGTB have had suicidal ideas.

This analysis highlights the severity of cyberbullying with two other contributions: the 35 percent of them have prepared it in detail and 17 percent have attempted suicide on occasion.

Another of the cyberthreats to which the members of this group are exposed is the theft of digital identity or ‘frapping’. This occurs when a false profile is created with the identity of a person to take over their social network account and post content that humiliates her publicly.

This fake account can also be used by the cyberbully to post personal information, photos with sensitive content, or expose your sexual orientation without your consent.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the ‘outing’which is the disclosure of sexual orientation without the knowledge of the person in question, is considered a hate crime in some cases and can also be harmful to the victim.

LGBT people are also exposed to ‘wokefishing’a technique used by cybercriminals who pass themselves off on social networks as profiles related to your personsuch as progressive profiles, supportive of the collective or the feminist movement.

Once they have gained the trust of their victims, they begin to intimidate them and perpetrate hate crimes, abuse and even robbery. Furthermore, in some cases, it has been physically attack the victim and to record these events to later spread it on social networks to humiliate her, a phenomenon known as ‘happy slapping’.

Finally, another of the most frequent attacks on LGBT people is workplace harassment or ‘mobbing’which not only occurs in physical workspaces, but also virtual ones, such as WhatsApp or internal company chats.

Panda Security recommends protecting privacy and the private sphere as much as possible, in order to avoid this type of attack, as well as change frequently passwords for social networks to avoid theft of digital profiles.

It is also convenient to distrust any profile that cannot be verified through Internet search engines and try to report it, collecting as much information as possiblethis cyberbullying in the social networks themselves.

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Written by Editor TLN

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