Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Thursday, October 23, 2014

Online Harassment: A Pew Research Internet Project

This is an interesting study done by the Pew Research Internet Project.  In view of the recent sexual attacks by conservative bloggers Radical Redneck and Rusty Shackleford on P.E.'s blog host, as well as harassment from the past by conservative commenters (Thersites and an Anonymous troll) that forced P.E. to go to comment moderation, this study is a very useful tool in understanding the causes and effects of internet harassment.

Online Harassment

 Summary of Findings Harassment—

From garden-variety name calling to more threatening behavior—Online Harassment is a common part of online life that colors the experiences of many web users.

Fully 73% of adult internet users have seen someone be harassed in some way online and 40% have personally experienced it, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Pew Research asked respondents about six different forms of online harassment.

Those who witnessed harassment said they had seen at least one of the following occur to others online:

60% of internet users said they had witnessed someone being called offensive names
53% had seen efforts to purposefully embarrass someone
25% had seen someone being physically threatened
24% witnessed someone being harassed for a sustained period of time
19% said they witnessed someone being sexually harassed
18% said they had seen someone be stalked

Those who have personally experienced online harassment said they were the target of at least one of the following online:

27% of internet users have been called offensive names
22% have had someone try to purposefully embarrass them
8% have been physically threatened 8% have been stalked
7% have been harassed for a sustained period
6% have been sexually harassed

In Pew Research Center’s first survey devoted to the subject, two distinct but overlapping categories of online harassment occur to internet users. The first set of experiences is somewhat less severe: it includes name-calling and embarrassment. It is a layer of annoyance so common that those who see or experience it say they often ignore it.

The second category of harassment targets a smaller segment of the online public, but involves more severe experiences such as being the target of physical threats, harassment over a sustained period of time, stalking, and sexual harassment.

Of those who have been harassed online, 55% (or 22% of all internet users) have exclusively experienced the “less severe” kinds of harassment while 45% (or 18% of all internet users) have fallen victim to any of the “more severe” kinds of harassment.


CHART OF THE DAY:  Women experience particularly severe forms of online harassment.

Timothy B. Lee recently interviewed legal scholar Danielle Citron, who suggests that things have gotten better: 

 TBL: You’ve been writing about this issue [of online harassment] since 2009. How do you see public attitudes shifting on this issue since you started? 

DC: It’s been amazing, I have to say. I’m still not totally sold on the idea that we all agree this stuff is bad. But social attitudes have really shifted in the last two years. I gave a presentation at Yale in early 2008 about the problem of cybermobs and online harassment, and at the time the pushback to do anything about this was so profound. It was like “look, don’t touch the internet, you’re going to break it. Regulating it is going to cause more problems than good.” In the last couple of years, this phenomenon of revenge porn has brought alive the harm  [RADICAL REDNECK]— maybe just because people can envision people they care about experiencing it.


Анонимный Анонимный said...

Have the sewer dwellers been acting up again?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Last month was not the only time Shaw had been victimized by online predators.
Five years ago, I recall another incident that became the subject of this post: STOP SADISTIC AND SEXIST CYBER-BULLYING … NOW!. A call attention to this quote from the aforementioned post:

Bloggers are not nameless, faceless objects for shameless stereotyping, but caring people who live, work, pay taxes, contribute to the common good, and suffer the same problems of living as the rest of humanity … regardless of party, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

In case the point has been missed, let me rephrase. There is a tendency within the ranks of the Cringe Fringe to dehumanize any person at will; to regard certain groups as unworthy of human dignity and unworthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to treat anyone who disagrees with them as mortal enemies worthy of elimination. If you miss the dark undertones, then I shall be even more blunt: These are the signature traits of fascism.

I view these people in the same context as Stormfront, the KKK, anti-Semites, racists, and bigots. Bloggers such as FreeThinke, Lisa, Radical Redneck, and Texas Stomp deserve no place in respective communities.

Shaw Kenawe said...

(O)CT(O)PUS, the link that takes us to the "STOP SADISTIC AND SEXIST CYBER-BULLYING" post has within it links to "bluepitbull's" homepage:

"Understandably, she supports healthcare reform among other liberal causes … sentiments that have turned her into a magnet for attacks by right wing predators. Not just any attack, but low, vile, cowardly, sexist attacks such as this from a blogger who calls himself bluepitbull.

At least now I know the name of my tormentor from back then. He was a nasty, loud-mouthed, bully, who obviously had women issues. Bluepitbull, Radical Redneck, and Rusty Shackleford are all of a piece: Men with inferiority complexes who take their low-self esteem and lack of any successes out on women they know nothing about. They're the type of angry, frustrated males who probably think they're manly men by abusing women, children, and the elderly.

And Lisa is their enabler.

I was shocked to see that Free Thinke, who considers himself a man of distinction, talent, and good breeding, would throw in with these low-lifes and not condemn their depravity. As I said elsewhere, it's all about tribalism. No matter how badly behaved you are, out in the fringes of rightwing clubiness, you are forgiven because you hate the right people: Liberals.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... I remember Bluepitbull...

He was a piece of work.

I have to ask why someone cannot say they disagree with your point of view without feeling a need to make it personal.

Say my ideas are wrong, and present a cogent argument, and that's fine. Silverfiddle, at least to me, has always been a good example of that.

Sure, we all get a little teed off at folks sometimes when we are not in full agreement, but to stoop to name calling, harassment, posting pornography and more, is more than childish disagreement.

It is evidence of either a real problem for the poster, or a conscious decision to live life in a way not acceptable in a civilized society.

I am not sure which is worse, or more dangerous.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Indian River County Sheriff’s Office
Case Number 31365
Filed: October 10, 2014
Stalking, rapes threats/unsolicited pornography sent to private email account, menacing.

No, I am not kidding around, and let this serve as a warning ...

dmarks said...

"I was shocked to see that Free Thinke, who considers himself a man of distinction, talent, and good breeding"

Don't they all?

Yeah I remember BluePitBull. I think he faded. Surprised I found a comment by me in that exchange link from (O)ct, but there it was.

I miss seeing Pamela D. Hart though.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Pamela is very missed.

Rational Nation USA said...

Pamela was a real class act. I miss her presence as well dmarks. I think she just had enough of the B.S. from the lame brains with their heads buried where the sun din't shine.

She told me in one of her last e-mails she sent she might get back to writing. I hope she does. A real independent FreeThinkers that girl.

dmarks said...

Anyone else remember Patrick M of "Patrick M Speaks"?

Rusty Old Ford said...

Oh I read Lisa's "Who's Your Porn Dog" blog every so often when I am in the mood for some dark comedy.