National Survey Shows that 1 in 3 Adults Have Been Personally Harassed or Witnessed Harassment Online

Mar 17, 2016, 17:35 ET from CiviliNation

MINNEAPOLIS, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In its newly released CiviliNation Harassment Barometer tracking online harassment in the United States, CiviliNation found that one in three adults either witnessed or personally experienced online harassment. Of those who said they experienced harassment, 40% said they knew their attacker, with 25% being a friend or former friend.

"Digital bullying and harassment have become a nearly epidemic societal problem, and the first step in attempting to solve any problem is to fully understand it," said Jimmy Wales, who sits on CiviliNation's Board of Directors.

Among the different types of harassment that take place online, name-calling is the most common. Thirty-four percent of both men and women said that they've been called names online.

For women, sexual harassment is a particularly big problem online, with 23% saying they've been sexually harassed, nearly three times more than men.

Online harassment can take on other forms as well. Nearly 13% of those surveyed said they've been or seen someone physically threatened online, 12.3 % said they've had their own or seen someone else's personal information published online without their content (doxxing), and nearly 12% said they've been or seen someone encouraged to hurt themselves or commit suicide.

"It's time to change direction and create the Internet we want to have for the next one hundred years," said Andrea Weckerle, CiviliNation founder and president.

Data for the survey was gathered for CiviliNation by ABX Advertising Benchmark Index ( from 1,900 U.S. adults and is valid within ±2.3% at a 90% confidence interval.

For a full copy of the research, please contact Andrea Weckerle at or text the shortcode Barometer to 44222.

About CiviliNation:
CiviliNation is a non-profit organization taking a stand against online hostility and adult cyberbullying. A strong supporter of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, CiviliNation believes that by fostering an online culture in which individuals can fully engage and contribute without fear or threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment, or lies, the core ideals of democracy are upheld.

About ABX:
ABX Advertising Benchmark Index is a communications effectiveness firm fielding thousands of surveys a day to provide insights across all kinds of questions. ABX also measures paid and non-paid creative content across traditional and online media for clients and their competitors, delivering results in 24-48 hours.

The CiviliNation Online Harassment Barometer is a monthly snapshot survey of the state of online harassment among adults online. Results are accurate within ±2.3% at a 90% confidence interval. During a four-week period in February and March 2016, ABX interviewed a representative and balanced Internet panel of 1,900 people, asking them a series of questions about online harassment they may have witnessed or experienced.

ABX utilizes a general population stratified random probability sampling design incorporating blended sample from several leading global panel companies. Participants are "deduped" across all panels to produce a homogeneous and as unbiased panel composition as possible. Participants double opt-in and are pre-screened to achieve balance by gender, geography, age, income, and education. The sample consists of:

  • Adults 18+
  • Residing in the contiguous 48 U.S. states
  • Who haven't participated in an ABX survey in the prior 90 days
  • Representative of income and education
  • Stratified by age within gender
  • 4 Census regions in U.S. / key regions by country


SOURCE CiviliNation