Half of young Swedes ‘face raped’: survey

Half of Sweden's young people have endured a "face rape," or having their Facebook account hijacked by someone else who writes mean or "funny" things under the user's name, according to Sweden's online privacy watchdog on Friday.

Half of young Swedes 'face raped': survey

Almost all young Swedes use Facebook, the Swedish Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen) reported on Friday. The agency released its fourth report on Swedish youth and their attitudes on privacy in general and especially on the internet.

According to Kairos Future, which conducted the survey on behalf of the agency, the victims of face rape are also more likely to use the complaint functions on social networking sites, suggesting that many perceive a face rape as abuse.

At the same time, the survey noted that one in three young people who used a complaint function did not think that they received enough help.

“Even if too many do not receive adequate help, the study shows that it often pays to complain,” agency director general Göran Gräslund said on Friday in a statement.

“If we are to succeed in reducing violations on the net, it is important to clearly respond to perceived violations, both against the violator who publishes the offences and the site where the information is published,” he pointed out.

The survey also shows that nearly four in 10 have come across someone posting pictures of themselves on the internet against their will. In addition, 23 percent, or nearly one in four, young Swedes have experienced sexual harassment on the internet.

“It is alarming that society does not get behind tackling this serious form of violation on the internet,” said Gräslund.

Last year, the agency launched the Krä site, which is directed at young people and offers tips and advice on how to proceed if one has been wronged on the internet. The site has a section on what to do to avoid becoming the victim of face rape.

The survey also found that 23 percent believe that their parents check up on what they do online, while 43 percent have knowingly withheld what they do on the internet from their parents.

In addition, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young people who post videos of themselves online, from one in five in 2007 to nearly half. Nearly half of the respondents said they avoid writing certain things on the internet that could be a disadvantage later in life.

At the same time, it is increasingly common for people to look up more or less casual acquaintances on the internet. Fewer than one in 10 never look up others on the internet.

Separately, 66 percent believe the authorities monitor what they write online, while 49 percent think the authorities monitor what they write in their emails.

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