TIME Internet

Almost Half of U.S. Internet Users Have Experienced Online Harassment, Study Shows

Black and young Americans are even more likely to experience online harassment

Almost half of U.S. teen and adult internet users say they have experienced online harassment or abuse, a new report shows.

The study, carried out by the Data & Society Research Institute and Center for Innovative Public Health Research, found that 47% of Americans have personally experienced at least one of 20 forms of harassing behavior.

The types of harassment were divided into three categories: digital harassment (e.g. being called offensive names), invasion of privacy (e.g. being hacked or impersonated) and denial of access (e.g. technical attacks that overwhelm a device, site, server or platform and prevent access).

Although men and women are equally likely to face online harassment, the study showed, women experience a wider variety of online abuse, including more serious violations. The report also revealed that sexual minorities (those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual) are more likely to experience online harassment—and are more likely to be affected by it.

Black and young Americans—especially young women— are also more likely to experience online harassment, and more likely to say they self-censor what they post online in order to avoid harassment.

The findings of the study, called “Online Harassment, Digital Abuse, and Cyberstalking in America,” were based on the results of a survey of 3,002 U.S. citizens aged 15 and older, conducted from May 17 to July 31 this year.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team