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Online harassment affects half of Americans: study
Almost half of US internet users say they have been a victim of online harassment or abuse ranging from name-calling to stalking to physical threats, a survey showed Monday.
Women, the under-30s, and people identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual were all more likely to experience such harassment -- and were also more likely to self-censor what they post online as a result, researchers found.
Forty-seven percent of people reported experiencing at least one form or online harassment or unwanted contact, according to the study by the Data & Society Research Institute and Center for Innovative Public Health Research.
More than a third (36 percent) had suffered "direct harassment," including being called offensive names, threatened physically or stalked.
Three in 10 said they had been victims of "invasion of privacy," including having sensitive data or photographs stolen or posted without their permission, or having their online activity tracked.
A large majority of people -- 72 percent -- also said they had witnessed such conduct online.