One in four smartphone and tablet users admits having posted "malicious" comments online, according to a recent survey released Tuesday by a government-affiliated technology agency.

According to the anonymous online survey of 3,500 users last October, of the 1,850 respondents who said they had posted comments of any kind, 26.9 percent said they had posted malicious remarks on blogs or Twitter, up 3.4 percentage points from the previous year, the Information-Technology Promotion Agency said.

The comments included derogatory remarks aimed at individuals or companies, including abusive language, the agency said.

As for the reasons, 20 to 30 percent said they wanted to counter other people's opinions, were angered by others' comments, or simply wanted to express criticism.

Of the respondents, 13.2 percent said they were "seeking revenge," up 5.4 points from the previous year, while 6.8 percent said they wanted to encourage other users to bombard a particular site with negative comments, up 4.0 points.

Asked about how posting the comments made them feel, 31.9 percent said they were either satisfied or felt better, while 27.6 percent said they felt nothing and 13.6 percent said they regretted having done so.

By age group, people in their 20s accounted for 36.8 percent, followed by those between 10 and 19 at 30 percent, the survey found. The percentage decreased with age.

"Young people are losing their sense of ethics, which points to a growing need for education," said the agency's Kenichi Hanamura.

Among users of personal computers, of the 5,000 people surveyed, around 1,900 people said they posted comments on the Internet. Of that 1,900, 22.2 percent said they had made malicious comments, down 4.2 points from the previous year.