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Survey looks at extent of online rural bullying

A survey is asking rural communities about their experiences of online bullying in a bid to uncover the extent of the problem.

The Countryside Alliance launched the online survey saying it strongly condemned online bullying of any kind - and had long campaigned to raise awareness of the issue.

Over the last year, the alliance said it had alerted people to the online bullying faced "on a daily basis" by rural communities and supporters of country sports.

It said the campaign reached over 1.2m people and called on social platforms to take the threats seriously and take action by standing up to those who incite hatred and violence.

While the government was committed to make the UK the “safest place in the world” to be online, the alliance said rural people still experienced bullying for their beliefs and lawful activities.

Alliance head of policy Sarah Lee said: “Everyone should feel safe when using social media and appropriate protections should be in place to prevent attacks designed to intimidate and silence.

“We hope that this survey will raise awareness to the online abuse that some people in rural communities face.”

Ms Lee said survey results would help the alliance continue to put pressure on the government and social media platforms to do more to protect people on social media.”

All responses would be treated in the strictest of confidence – and would help to shine a light on the bullying and harassment that often went unreported, said the alliance.

The survey can be completed here.

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