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Harassment—from garden-variety name calling to more threatening behavior— is a common part of online life that colors the experiences of many web users.
Fully 73% of adult internet users have seen someone be harassed in some way online and 40% have personally experienced it, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Those with more “severe” harassment experiences responded differently to their most recent incident with harassment than those with less “severe” experiences.
Women were more likely than men to find their most recent experience with online harassment extremely or very upsetting—38% of harassed women said so of their most recent experience, compared with 17% of harassed men.
Again, there were differences in the emotional impact of online harassment based on the level of severity one had experienced in the past.
Fully 65% of young internet users have been the target of at least one of the six elements of harassment that were queried in the survey. Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment.
In addition, they do not escape the heightened rates of physical threats and sustained harassment common to their male peers and young people in general.
Pew Research asked respondents about six different forms of online harassment.