Harassment Continues on Social Networks (Infographic)

Despite constant efforts by social networks to protect their users, a new survey by Craig Newmark found that harassment still runs rampant.

Despite constant efforts by social networks to protect their users, a new survey by Craig Newmark found that harassment still runs rampant.

Newmark—founder of craigslist, craigconnects, Rad Campaign and Lincoln Park Strategies—found that 22 percent of social network users were victims of bullying, harassment and threatening behavior in 2016, down only slightly from 25 percent in 2014.

The survey also found that while progress was made in sexual harassment, which dropped to 27 percent in 2016 from 44 percent in 2014, the opposite was true for political harassment, which rose from 16 percent in 2014 to 30 percent in 2016.

Other findings included:

  • 72 percent of millennials were harassed online by someone they knew.
  • 63 percent of online harassment happens on Facebook.
  • 47 percent of millennials have either personally experienced harassment or know someone who has—unchanged since 2014.
  • 62 percent of daily Tinder users (three-quarters of whom are millennials) have been harassed online.
  • 55 percent of adults who reported harassment in 2016 were women.
  • Email harassment rose from 20 percent in 2014 to 25 percent in 2016.
  • 79 percent of adults aged 55 through 64 who are harassed online experience political harassment.

Newmark said in a release announcing the results:

Social media networks are not being very successful stopping this problem from the top-down, but they can’t do it alone. It’s up to all of us as users to do our part to report bad actors and to encourage civility. “Treat people the way you want to be treated” applies online, just as it does in the real world.

Rad Campaign social media consultant Allyson Kapin added:

What we’re seeing by examining trends longitudinally is that online harassment is not an easy fix. Despite some efforts by social networks to incorporate policies to stop online harassment, the problem is not going away. Clearly we need to institute better tools, algorithms and policies to support and empower people online, such as better methods for reporting harassment, as well as more effective and timely responses from the social networks themselves.

Readers: Have you ever experienced online harassment?


Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.