With the country highly polarized along party lines and the nation’s capital bracing for more unrest ahead of next week’s inauguration, a new report from the Pew Research Center sheds light on the dark side of the web. A survey of more than 10,000 people found that the percentage of women who say they have experienced sexual harassment online has doubled since 2017.
“41% of Americans say they have experienced some form of bullying online. ”
The report analyzed the results of a nationally representative survey of more than 10,000 American adults from Sept. 8-13. Researchers considered respondents who said they had experienced offensive name calling, sexual harassment, intentional embarrassment, stalking, physical threats, and / or harassment over an extended period of time online to be targets of online harassment. Women who were harassed online were much more likely than men to say they had been harassed because of their gender, and bullied whites who were black or Hispanic were much more likely than whites to say they had been harassed because of their gender. race or ethnicity. . Across age lines, the majority of younger adults ages 18-29 (64%) and nearly half of adults ages 30-49 say they have been bullied online, compared to 30% of those aged 50 to 64 and 21% of those aged 65. and up. In total, 41% of Americans say they experienced some form of bullying online, just like in 2017, and three out of four targets say their most recent incident happened on social media. More and more adults report experiencing “more serious” types of online bullying, such as stalking, sexual harassment, and physical threats (25% now, compared to 15% in 2014), as well as multiple bullying behaviors (28% now versus 16% in 2014). Only 18% of those surveyed thought that social media companies were doing a good or excellent job of addressing cyberbullying and bullying online. Many have differing views on how the issue should be tackled – for example, about half of those surveyed said permanent bans for offenders would be very effective in suppressing harassment, and 48% said the same about getting users to disclose their real identities. Meanwhile, only one in three people believe that victims of cyberbullying or online stalking should be able to sue the platforms where the crime was committed.