PETALING JAYA: A report evaluating civility among internet users worldwide has found that Malaysians are among the most civil in comparison with 25 other countries.
The 2020 Digital Civility Index (DCI) by Microsoft, involving 500 teenagers and adults in Malaysia, studied the degree of negative online behaviours and interactions, the risks faced by netizens and the extent of pain it can cause to users.
Malaysia, which ranked fourth among 25 countries, recorded a better score than the United States and closely trailed Germany.
The United Kingdom topped the list, followed by the Netherlands.
South Africa was found to have the worst online civility with an 81% index figure, followed by Peru (81%), Colombia (80%), Russia (79%) and Vietnam (78%).
The study found that sexual and behavioural risks were among the highest faced by netizens when interacting online, with 25% of respondents citing unwanted sexting and 24% complaining about online harassment.
Some 18% of Malaysians cited hate speech as a risk they were exposed to, 19% said internet trolling while 20% mentioned online hoaxes and scams.
Religion was found to be the topic that drove the most incivility among netizens, followed closely by politics, sexual orientation and race.
Not surprisingly, social media sites are the most common platform for uncivil behaviour, according to the survey.
The study also found that some of the most damaging risks for Malaysian netizens are damage to one’s personal reputation, misogyny, sexual solicitation, cyberbullying and damage to one’s professional reputation.
It said Malaysia’s lower overall score, following a higher digital civility index figure, was in relation to a global decline in online civility.