Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reports Of Online Harassment Increasing

Harassment and abuse are becoming the new normal online: 41% of American adults have been personally subjected to online harassment — an increase from two years ago — and 66% have witnessed it, a new study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found.

According to USAToday, the most common forms of harassment, the study found, are offensive name-calling and purposeful embarrassment. But 18% of those who said they have been harassed were victims of more severe forms of harassment, such as threats of physical harm, harassment over a sustained period, sexual harassment or stalking.

According to the study, which surveyed 4,248 people, most of these interactions take place on social media platforms. Some 14% said they were targeted for their political views. Nearly one-in-ten said they were harassed because of their physical appearance.

Social media giants have been grappling with preventing harassment on their platforms. Over the past year, Twitter has rolled out new tools that make it easier to mute notifications from unknown accounts and trolls. Last year, Instagram announced it would let users filter any inappropriate or abusive comments.

Most respondents, 79%, said tech companies have a duty to step in and prevent abuse on their platforms.

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