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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Girls are facing the brunt of a rise in online bullying.

By the numbers: "21% of girls in middle and high school reported being bullied online or by text message in the 2016-17 school year, compared with less than 7% of boys," AP notes, citing Department of Education data. Two years earlier, "16% of girls between 12 and 18 said they were bullied online, compared with 6% of boys."

Why it matters: Well-meaning parents and educators are left to effectively play whack-a-mole.

  • In states like Texas and California, broad cyberbullying laws have been passed — and schools are increasingly adding strict cyberbullying rules.

The big picture: A generation of kids is growing up not knowing life without the social pressure and power that comes with online social networks, notes Axios' Stef Kight.

  • Social media has enabled youth activism in this generation, but has also been linked to bullying, mental health issues and rising suicide rates among young people.

Between the lines: These online platforms make it easier than ever to bully each other and it also allows you to do it anonymously so you can be mean and hurt people without the "uncool" look of being a bully, Axios' Juliet Bartz tells me.

  • Kind Campaign founder Lauren Paul told the AP 90% of the stories she hears while working in schools are of girls bullied by other girls.
  • One girl even created fake profiles to like her social posts, fearing that her friends would exclude her otherwise.

The bottom line: The pressures long faced by teen girls — from the clothes you wear at school to who you hang with— are now on a bigger stage, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva said.

  • It's also your Instagram photos and whether your Snapchats and photos are popular.

Go deeper: Devices dominate teenagers' social lives

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Butterball CEO Jay Jandrain talks turkey

Butterball estimates that it sells one out of every three Thanksgiving turkeys, but knows that this year's celebrations will be different than years past.

Axios Re:Cap talks with the turkey giant's CEO Jay Jandrain about what people are buying, what they're asking the "Turkey Talkline" and what the pandemic has meant for his business.

Biden introduces top national security team

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday at an event introducing the incoming administration's top national security officials, where he told the story of his stepfather being the only one of 900 children at his school in Poland to survive the Holocaust.

What they're saying: "At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria. From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the iron cross, he saw painted on its side a five pointed white star," Blinken said.

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.