Young Australians have accepted bullies and trolls as an inevitable part of using social media websites, new government research suggests.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority's (ACMA) study of 1500 children in NSW and South Australia showed one in five 14 and 15-year-olds had been bullied on the internet.
That's a slightly higher rate than found among other juvenile age groups.
But children of all ages said suffering or witnessing bullying was now an unavoidable part of social media sites, with the potential anonymity afforded to users a key driver of the abuse.
"It's sort of part and parcel of it all. You use social networks and you're going to see cyberbullying," one child said.
The communication watchdog's senior adviser, Rosalie O'Neale, said 14 and 15-year-olds were most vulnerable to online bullying because many did not have the social skills to manage difficult situations online.
The age group was also identified as the most likely to engage in risky online behaviour, including becoming friends with or exchanging information with strangers.
Ms O'Neale believed slightly older teenagers were less vulnerable because they were "less insular" and generally spent a little more time on other activities, including schoolwork.
Youngsters did take action against trolls and bullies, with some either defending victims or asking the perpetrators to stop, the ACMA found.
"The good news is that these young people are prepared to stand up and speak out about cyberbullying," ACMA deputy chairman Richard Bean said.
The level of online bullying was found to be steady, despite more online participation. The findings, part of the ACMA's Cybersmart initiative, were presented at the World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights in Sydney yesterday. AAP