A survey funded by European Union revealed that most of the current young people – aged between 16 to 19 – are committing low-level cyber crimes that are treated as normal!
Some of the behaviors they were surveyed through include hate speech, online harassment, digital piracy, watching pornography, acting as money mules, etc. This survey results come at a time when the EU and the UK are preparing a new online safety bill that’d treat more of the above online incidents as criminal offenses.
Normalized Online Crimes in the EU
A survey funded by the EU and led by Julia Davidson, a professor of criminology at the University of East London (UEL), revealed that committing some petty online crimes among EU young people has become so normal – that they don’t even consider them crimes anymore!
The survey has over 8,000 young people & aged 16 to 19 years – from the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Romania, filling their responses with over 20 behavior aspects online.
The results stated that one in eight has engaged in online harassment, one in four has tracked or trolled someone online, one in five has engaged in sexting, one in 10 has engaged in hate speech or hacking, and one in three has engaged in digital piracy.
Further, every four out of 10 have watched pornography. The more concerning part is that these behaviors are mostly led by males, nearly 3/4th of them admitting to some form of cybercrime compared to 65% of females.
Further, over half of the surveyed youth revealed spending four to seven hours a day online, and about four out of 10 spend more than eight hours in this category! The top five platforms they frequently reach out to our YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, and Snapchat.
This survey comes at a time of both EU and the UK are preparing for a new online safety bill – that would create a number of new criminal offenses and includes most of the incidents mentioned above.