A comprehensive survey of adult Americans released today by Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects, Rad Campaign, and Lincoln Park Strategies, shows that bullying, harassment, and threatening behavior on social networks has remained roughly the same over two years (22% in 2016 compared to 25% in 2014) despite efforts by social media companies to curb harassment. The survey is the follow up to a poll conducted around online harassment in 2014.
While overall experience of harassment remained constant, pollsters noted changes in the form of harassment over the two year period. Sexual harassment showed a decline by almost half (falling from 44% in 2014, to 27% in 2016), while political harassment almost doubled from 16% in 2014 to 30% in 2016, leading up to the U.S. Presidential Election.
Findings further revealed that almost three-quarters of millennials (72%) are harassed online by someone they know, not by strangers. And, more than half of all online harassment (63%) is happening on Facebook.
An infographic by Rad Campaign illustrating the survey’s findings is available at http://www.onlineharassmentdata.org/2016. Key findings include:
- Boomers experience political harassment more than any other generation. More than three-quarters of adults ages 55-64 who are harassed online experience political harassment (79%).
- Across all platforms, Facebook is the dominant location for harassment, even among heavy Twitter users.
- Tinder users report the highest levels of online harassment. 62% of daily Tinder users (three-quarters of whom are Millennials) say that they’ve been harassed online.
- Harassment is not anonymous. In almost two out of three instances (61%), respondents report knowing their harassers.
- Younger people are harassed more than older. 47% of millennials have either personally experienced harassment, or know someone who has. This percentage remains unchanged since 2014, despite policies implemented by social networks to address it.
- Women are harassed more than men. Of adults who reported harassment in 2016, 55% are women; 45% are men. The number for women is slightly down from 2014; for men slightly up.
- Harassment via email has increased. As more people use email daily, email harassment has risen from 20% to 25% from 2014 to 2016.