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In terms of types of lie, most (55–90%) believed that others were at least lying about their age, gender, activities, interests, and appearance across the four online venues.Ninety percent expected others to lie at least sometimes about their appearance (most expected lie type) and 55% expected others to lie at least sometimes about their gender (least expected lie type).This study measures the prevalence and patterns of online harassment by examining six broad categories of abusive behavior (see “Defining online harassment” in the accompanying box).
Throughout this report, the 22% of adults who have experienced name-calling or efforts to embarrass them – and none of the other four experiences measured in the survey – are referred to as targets of “less severe” forms of online harassment.
Although young people are exposed to harassment online at especially high levels, the proportion of Americans in other age groups who experience online harassment is notable – and growing.
Fully 49% of adults ages 30 to 49 have personally experienced any form of online harassment, up from 39% in 2014.
And beyond these behaviors, noteworthy shares of young adults have been subject to more serious forms of abuse.
One-quarter (25%) have received physical threats online, while smaller but still notable proportions have been sexually harassed (15%), harassed for a sustained period of time (16%) or stalked (13%) online.