Survey Finds Harassment Pervasive on Social Media [Infographic]

Nearly 50 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 have experienced, or know someone who has experienced online harassment.


While the Internet has brought more connectivity to the world, the Web is not without its challenges. In addition to increasing cybersecurity and privacy concerns, cyber-harassment is on the rise, according to a poll conducted by Rad Campaign, Lincoln Networks and Craig Newmark.

The survey found that almost 50 percent of Americans 18- to 35-years-old have experienced or know someone who has been harassed or bullied online. Women seem to get the brunt of the abuse, with 57 percent experiencing harassment compared to 43 percent of men. Sexual harassment is the most common form of abuse.

Facebook seems to be the most common forum for bullies. Sixty-two percent of survey participants who said they had been harassed said it happened on Facebook. Twitter was a distant second at 24 percent.

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, nearly 70 percent of those who had experienced harassment knew their harasser and almost 30 percent feared for their lives, while 23 percent were afraid to leave their homes as a result of the harassment.

“Some people may think the Internet is a place where they can threaten people without consequences, but online harassment has horrifying real-life effects,” said Allyson Kapin, co-founder of Rad Campaign, a web agency for nonprofits. “These poll results show the need for effective responses to the problem at all levels.”

Take a look at the infographic below for more survey data: [click to enlarge]