Online Hate and Harassment: The American Experience 2023

Posted By on July 5, 2023

Online Hate and Harassment Surged in 2023

ADLs fifth annual survey shows online hate and harassment rose sharply for both adults and teens ages 13-17 in the past twelve months. Reports of each type of online hate and harassment increased by nearly every measure and within almost every demographic group, making clear that online hate and harassment remain persistent and entrenched problems on social media platforms.

Online hate and harassment surged in the 2023 findings twelve percentage points from 40% in 2022 for adults. More than half (52%) of all American adults reported experiencing hate or harassment online at some point in their lives. Although hate and harassment rose across the board, these increases were most pronounced among Black/African American and Muslim respondents.

Jewish respondents experienced an increase in online harassment from 2022: 44% reported ever being harassed (up from 37%), 31% reported ever experiencing severe harassment (up from 23%), and 26% reported any harassment in the past twelve months (up from 21%). Jewish respondents were also more likely than non-Jews (28% vs. 23%) to worry about future harassment and more likely to worry about being harassed for their religion, 80% compared to 41% for non-Jews. They were also more likely than in past years to avoid identifying themselves as Jewish, including on social media (25% in 2023 compared to 17% in 2022).

The increase in the 2023 findings erased a dip for many demographic groups in 2022. For example, in the past twelve months, Muslim respondents have returned to their 2021 levels of harassment (38%) after a decline in 2022 (23%).

A third of American adults (33%) experienced some form of online harassment in the past twelve months, up from 23% in 2022. Teens ages 13-17 also experienced a sharp rise: 51% of teenagers experienced some form of online harassment in the past twelve months compared to 36% in 2022, an increase of 15 percentage points, greater than the 10 percentage point increase among adults.

ADL has conducted this nationally representative survey annually since 2019 to determine how many Americans experience hate or harassment incidents on social media. This year, we surveyed 2,139 adults 18 and over from March 7-24, 2023, and 550 teens aged 13-17 from March 23-April 6, 2023. Respondents were asked about lifetime experiences as well as experiences in the preceding twelve months.

Given the proliferation of anti-transgender legislation and rhetoric, we oversampled transgender respondents for the first time, a sampling method to ensure enough responses from a small demographic group. We found 76% of transgender respondents have been harassed in their lifetimes, with 51% of transgender respondents being harassed in the past twelve months, by far the highest of any reported demographic category. After transgender respondents, LGBQ+1 people experienced the most harassment at 47% in the past twelve months (together, transgender and LGBQ+ people were the most harassed demographic group every year we have conducted this survey).

Looking at platforms, Facebook was where most harassment took place. Of those who reported being harassed, 54% indicated the harassment took place on Facebook. Harassment rose on Twitter (up to 27% from 21% in 2022) and on Reddit (up to 15% from 5% in 2022).

1.We refer separately to transgender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer or other respondents (LGBQ+) in the adult survey because of the change in our sampling methodology this year, even though they constitute one larger demographic. In the teen survey, LGBTQ+ were sampled together.

Originally posted here:
Online Hate and Harassment: The American Experience 2023

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