Adults and teens are being harassed online in record numbers, says a report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.
Of those surveyed for the ADL’s latest annual report about online hate and harassment, 52% of adults said they’d been subjected to internet harassment in their lifetime, up from 40% in 2022. Also, 33% of adults and 51% of teens said they’d been harassed online in the past 12 months, up from 23% and 36%, respectively, last year. These instances of hate and harassment came primarily on social media.
To combat the rise, the ADL says, social media companies should enforce their hate and harassment policies, including on any high-profile accounts that are given exceptions. The organization also says legislators should mandate transparency reporting and outlaw doxing.
One social media platform that’s recently been criticized over hate and harassment is Twitter. Late last year, the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that hate speech on the site increased after Elon Musk’s October 2022 purchase of Twitter, with racial slurs and LGBT hate surging and accounts promoting such hate gaining more followers. Musk disputed claims about a rise in hate speech but didn’t provide details on how Twitter defines or measures it.
The release of the ADL report follows a ruling by the US Supreme Court on Tuesday that said a man who made online threats against a stranger has free speech protections, and that overturned a stalking conviction as a result.