Safer Internet Day: Maisie Williams speaks out about cyber bullying

Game of Thrones actress spoke last month about being at the receiving end of mean comments

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The Independent Online

Over a 1,000 children were asked about their online experiences for Safer Internet Day with one in eight claiming they felt many people posted purely negatively online.

The data, collected by ResearchBods for the UK Safer Internet Centre, showed that a quarter of teenagers – aged between 11 and 16 – were using six or more social networks every week.

Overall, one in 20 of the teenagers felt that people were mean to them most of the time on the internet.

The statistics follow remarks from Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams.

Ms Williams, who aged 12 was cast as one of the lead roles in the HBO drama, spoke of her difficulties with cyber bullying at a press conference for a new role last month.  

The actress, now 17, said: “I’ve been on a train, right next to my mum with my phone in my hand, scrolling through constant abuse right next to my mum and feeling completely on my own.

 

“Sometimes you can tell it’s just people that are very excited, and sometimes its people that genuinely want to say something nasty.

“As much as you can say these people just do this for kicks, it does hurt.”

She advised teenagers to turn off their Facebook or social media accounts, promising that they would not lose touch with their real friends, and warning of the danger of getting sucked into engaging with cyber bullies.

“I started sending horrible things back,” she said. “But when you’re 13 and someone says something nasty you don’t want to ignore them. You want to hurt them like they’ve hurt you. You get in to this bitchy cycle.”

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