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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.
Pew Research asked respondents about six different forms of online harassment.
The first set of experiences is somewhat less severe: it includes name-calling and embarrassment.
It is a layer of annoyance so common that those who see or experience it say they often ignore it.
The second category of harassment targets a smaller segment of the online public, but involves more severe experiences such as being the target of physical threats, harassment over a sustained period of time, stalking, and sexual harassment.
Of those who have been harassed online, 55% (or 22% of all internet users) have experienced the “less severe” kinds of harassment while 45% (or 18% of all internet users) have fallen victim to any of the “more severe” kinds of harassment.
Online harassment tends to occur to different groups in different environments with different personal and emotional repercussions.