Behaviour intolerable in real life is somehow easier online.

Hate, abuse and harassment happen too frequently online and with a fierce intensity, especially to marginalised people.

This report adds to the understanding of the issues with New Zealand data, and a direction to update our outdated rules and regulations.

Being online is a misnomer. It’s like walking on footpaths and driving on roads -- part of everyday life. Yet we seem to treat online as a separate space rather than an extension of everyday life.

The anonymity easily found online can be a shield for hateful and abusive behaviour. Social norms that govern our data to day interactions do not always apply online.

Careful academic work around the world shows the impacts of harmful online behaviour are real. Startlingly, many young people find online bullying much more harmful than social bullying.

The online space has rapidly become an extension of our daily lives, but our rules, regulations and enforcement have not kept pace.

Old problems of antisocial behaviours are not easily addressed.

We need to think deliberately and creatively to deal with old problems in a new medium.

Shamubeel Eaqub


Shamubeel Eaqub is an experienced economist who makes economics easy. He is also an author, media commentator and a thought leading public speaker. With Netsafe he authored the report Cyberbullying- Estimating Costs