Trolls & Unwanted Sexting: India Not So Civil, Ranks High On Microsoft's Digital Index

Trolls & Unwanted Sexting: India Not So Civil, Ranks High On Microsoft's Digital Index

As a part of its commitment towards online safety, Microsoft has released the fourth Digital Civility Index (DCI) in conjunction with international Safer Internet Day - a day observed every year in the second week of February with an aim to provide a safe internet space to the users. The research shows that the world wide web, including India, is a less civil place than it was a year ago.

What Is Digital Civility Index (DCI)?

Microsoft's DCI is a measurement of the consumers’ lifetime exposure to online risks. Online risks were then divided into four categories considered by Microsoft for the research are - sexual, behavioural, reputational and personal. DCI scores were calculated by using the percentage of consumers who were exposed to at least one of 17 different online risks at some point in time. Lower scores equate to a higher digital civility.

India ranks 13th on DCI among the 25 countries that Microsoft surveyed. India DCI Index has increased 12 points to 71% in 2019 as compared to 2018.

What It Means For Us

Microsoft’s survey is based on the views of 12,520 adults and teenagers questioned across 25 countries including India. According to the survey, India is at a huge online risk and unwanted contact and unwanted sexting are the two most common risks for us. The other concerning risks are hate speech, trolling and people being mean on the internet.

The Main Insights


- The study shows that 45% of those who faced online risks already knew the perpetrators. 

- Among teenagers aged between 13 and 17, 71% faced risk and 81% worry that risk will happen again. While 77% have suffered consequences of a risk, only 51% actually asked for their parents’ help. 

- The report showed that sexual orientation (40%) and religion (39%) are the primary drivers of online incivility. Politics was close behind at 37%, while physical appearance and gender identity stood at 31% and 29% respectively. 

- 67% of those surveyed believe that tech and social media companies will create policies and tools to encourage online civility. 

The top five countries for online civility were the UK (52%), the Netherlands (56%), Germany (58%), Malaysia (59%) and USA (60%). 

Those with the lowest readings were Vietnam (78%), Russia (79%), Columbia (80%), Peru (81%) and South Africa (83%).

Hiding behind the screen and loathing someone is the easiest thing to do. We wonder what makes people think spew racial and religious hatred on the internet? To all those who've faced any kind of misbehaviour on the internet, don't let it bring you down. Don't pay any heed to these haters. You're a brave girl, more power to you!

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