41%: I HAVE BEEN HA­RASSED ON­LINE

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

NEW YORK» A new sur­vey says a whop­ping 41 per­cent of U.S. adults have ex­pe­ri­enced on­line ha­rass­ment, rang­ing from of­fen­sive name-call­ing to stalk­ing and sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

That’s up from 35 per­cent in 2014.

The Pew Re­search Cen­ter said Tues­day that 66 per­cent of re­spon­dents have wit­nessed other peo­ple be­ing ha­rassed. While some peo­ple’s ex­pe­ri­ences could be “shrugged off” as a nui­sance, Pew said, some 18 per­cent said they were sub­jected to “se­vere” forms of ha­rass­ment. This in­cluded phys­i­cal threats, stalk­ing and ha­rass­ment over a sus­tained pe­riod.

The vit­riol of the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion has brought the is­sue to the fore­front for many peo­ple. In fact, 14 per­cent of re­spon­dents said they have been ha­rassed on­line specif­i­cally be­cause of their po­lit­i­cal views.

Twit­ter and other on­line com­pa­nies have promised to crack down on abuse.

Pew’s re­port called so­cial me­dia an “es­pe­cially fer­tile ground” for on­line ha­rass­ment and found that 79 per­cent of re­spon­dents think on­line ser­vices have a “duty” to step in when abuse oc­curs on their plat­forms.

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