Survey: The Truth About Online Harassment
it’s not limited to women only.
By Suzanne Lucas
, Forbes Magazine, 12/5/16.
The Center for Innovative Public Health Research just came out with a new report: Online Harassment, Digital Abuse and Cyberstalking in America . Here are some of their findings:
- 47 percent of internet users have experienced online harassment or abuse.
- 36 percent have experienced direct harassment, which includes being threatened.
- 30 percent have experienced an invasion of privacy, which includes being hacked, impersonated, or exposed online.
- 17 percent have experienced a denial of access attack, through things such as “sending a very large number of unwanted messages, rendering the account unusable; misuse of reporting tools, sot hat the person is blocked from using a platform; and technical attacks.”
Overall, 72 percent of people have witnessed online harassment, which means there’s a good sized group of people who see this happening to others, but not to themselves.
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What are the lessons here?
Stop being mean on the internet
It’s unlikely that there are people who are nice and people who harass and never the twain shall meet. I personally have called out people who proclaim themselves as champions against bullying who are in the process of attacking someone else online. If you are attacking someone, you’re part of the problem. Remember, argue about ideas, not about people.
This happens a lot when an internet mob descends based on a video or a tweet of someone. If you don’t know the underlying information and you weren’t there, your attack is harassment, not standing up for someone.
Self-Censoring isn’t always bad.
If we’d self-censor ourselves to the point that we’re not mean, the internet would be a nicer place. That said, the next point is important.
Don’t shut up about important things.
As someone who has been blogging for over 10 years, I’ve gotten my fair share of nasty emails, tweets and comments. That hasn’t made me close my keyboard and walk away In fact, it makes me dig in my heels. You should do the same. Especially women–just because someone is mean online, doesn’t mean you should close your account. Block people, delete people, and laugh at the attacks. Think about how funny it is that someone took the time to say something horrible to you. With few exceptions, online harassers have no power over you.
Contact the police when it’s a direct threat.
If someone makes a threat, report it to the website and to the police.
Zero tolerance for harassment sounds good, but think it through.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine lost his job when an online harasser created fake screen shots of him saying terrible things and sent it to his employer. The employer ignored years of hard work and evidence provided by my friend that showed he didn’t write the posts and fired him. They wanted to look strong against internet harassers and instead participated in harassing someone.
In His Grace;
Bob W. <><
(Typ@s by Siri.)