Everybody who has had the pleasure of reading the comments below any somewhat controversial online article knows that people tend to forget their manners when interacting with other people online. There’s swearing, name-calling and sometimes even physical threats get thrown around at will.
While online harassment may be a relatively new phenomenon, that doesn’t make it any less serious. According to a new report published by Pew Research, 3 in 4 adult internet users in the U.S. have witnessed someone being harassed online and 40% have personally experienced online harassment. While more than half of those who have been harassed online have been subject to mild forms of harassment such as name-calling or ridicule, a full 18% of online adults have been subject to severe harassments such as stalking or physical threats.
While online harassment appears to be a common problem, young adults are much more at risk to be harassed online as our chart shows. For any type of harassment, the percentage of 18-29 years old who personally experienced it is much higher than it is for the online population as a whole.