A new study conducted by Pew Research has found that 41% of Americans have personally experienced online harassment, commonly on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The study found that online harassment has increased by 35% since 2014, based on data from gathered in an earlier survey that the think tank previously conducted.
The survey shows that 41% of the 4,248 respondents have been harassed online, and that the three most common forms of bullying were offensive name-calling; which has risen from 23% in 2014 to 27%, purposeful embarrassment; which has gone from 19% to 22% in the same period, and finally physical threats; which increased from 7% to 10%.
The study shows that men are more likely that women to face online harassment at 44% versus 37%. However, women, and particularly those who are younger, are more likely to face sexualised forms of online abuse. Two-in-ten women aged 18-29 said that they’ve experienced sexual harassment online and just over half of those were sent unsolicited explicit pictures. Overall, stalking and sexual harassment represented 7% and 6% of online abuse respectively.
As stated earlier, Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites were the main places where online harassment took place. 58% of those surveyed said that the abuse that they received was over these media.