How Do We Stop Online Harassment?

Folks, recently I launched a new infographic revealing the rise in online harassment with Rad Campaign and Lincoln Park Strategies.

Here’s some important findings from the poll:

  • Women report being personally harassed much more frequently than men – the gender gap’s 57% women to 43% men across all age groups.
  • Sexual harassment’s the most common form of harassment – 44% of all incidences), followed by: Slurs on a person’s professional ability (28%), Racial (23%), Religious (18%), and Political (16%) insults.
  • Surprisingly, the level of sexual harassment’s virtually identical between men (44%) and women (43%). 62% of respondents who said they’d been harassed online said it happened on Facebook. And, Twitter came in second at 24%.
  • The poll found significant effects of the harassment, including people who said they were scared for their life (29% of those harassed) and were afraid to leave their house (20%).
  • More than 2/3 of those harassed online said they knew their harasser in real life. And in those under 35 , that number rose to 72%.

Allyson Kapin, Founder of Rad Campaign and Women Who Tech, really dove into more of the numbers in her article, New Poll Details Widespread Harassment Online, Especially on Facebook, and also did a good job talking about some solutions to online harassment.

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What I want to know, is what else can folks be doing to prevent online harassment? And what is it that people want to be done? This is a really big deal, and the first step toward dealing with unacceptable behavior, understand the problem, then we can get rid of it.

The deal is, people want social networks to intervene when there’s harassment.

According to the poll,

  • 75% think suspending user accounts who have harassed others online would be somewhat or very successful at combating online harassment.
  • 64% think that creating a code of conduct for users would be somewhat or very successful at combating online harassment.
  • 25% of those harassed reported it to the social network where it occurred,
  • and 61% of the folks who reported online harassment said that the social network shut down the harasser’s account in response to the report.

2014-06-10-2.PNGThis is a time when I think crowdsourcing solutions is the best way to do this. People have different experiences, and it’s important to take those into consideration. Online harassment affects people differently, but the survey results show that it affects all types of folks. One thing that the majority agreed on was that the current laws about online and in-person harassment either aren’t strong enough or are nonexistent.

What solutions do you propose to get rid of the problem? And how can social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, email service providers, etc. do a better job at addressing online harassment?

New Poll Shows The Rise Of Online Harassment

Hey folks, real important stuff: almost 50% of Americans under the age of 35 have been bullied, harassed or threatened online, or know someone who has, according to a new poll published today.

You may not be surprised to discover that women are targeted more often than men, and Facebook’s by far the most common forum for harassment.

The poll, released by Rad Campaign, Lincoln Park Strategies and myself, shows that harassment’s a problem across populations, affecting 25% of all Americans. And when looking at folks under 35, the number shoots up to 47%. Rad Campaign’s taken the data and broken it up into an infographic.

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Here’s some important findings from the poll:

  • Women report being personally harassed much more frequently than men – the gender gap’s 57% women to 43% men across all age groups.
  • Sexual harassment’s the most common form of harassment – 44% of all incidences), followed by:
    • Slurs on a person’s professional ability (28%),
    • Racial (23%),
    • Religious (18%),
    • and Political (16%) insults.
  • Surprisingly, the level of sexual harassment’s virtually identical between men (44%) and women (43%).
  • 62% of respondents who said they’d been harassed online said it happened on Facebook. And, Twitter came in second at 24%.
  • The poll found significant effects of the harassment, including people who said they were scared for their life (29% of those harassed) and were afraid to leave their house (20%).
  • More than 2/3 of those harassed online said they knew their harasser in real life. And in those under 35 , that number rose to 72%.

“Some people may think the Internet is a place where they can threaten people without consequences, but online harassment has horrifying real-life effects,” said Allyson Kapin, co-founder of Rad Campaign.

“These poll results show the need for effective responses to the problem at all levels.”

Strangely enough, the poll shows that in only 25% of cases users reported harassment to the social networks where it happened, yet the social networks themselves appear to react when called upon– in 61% of cases, according to the poll, the network shut down the offender’s account.

“The high levels of harassment reported by those under 35, show that this problem will likely continue to grow out of control if not addressed,” said Stefan Hankin, President of Lincoln Park Strategies. “The results from this poll, especially surrounding the long reaction times to reported cases of harassment, point to a need for the social media sites, law enforcement, and us as individuals to start taking this issue more seriously.”

And I agree, the first step toward dealing with unacceptable behavior, understand the problem, then we can get rid of it.

To view the rest of the findings, visit: www.OnlineHarassmentData.org. The data and some solutions to the problem will also be discussed at the Personal Democracy Forum panel: Sex, Lies, and the Internet, beginning at 2pm ET on Thursday, June 6 with Allyson Kapin.

What works for you to stop online harassment, bullying, and threats? More to come…

These results are based on a survey of 1,007 Americans over 18 conducted online from May 20-22, 2014. Margin of error is approximately ±3.09% at the 95% confidence level.

 

Reliable Factchecking is Key

Folks, I stumbled across a great editorial this past weekend in a North Carolina newspaper, Sun Journal. The article connects the survey we just conducted with factchecking remarkably well:

First they report on survey finds, but then use them to rightfully brag on their own strict policies regarding the accuracy of their coverage.

They say,

We’re not popping any buttons over the survey results — a Gallup poll last fall reported 55 percent of Americans distrust the media generally — but we do take them as an endorsement of some standard practices at this newspaper, all of which are designed to ensure accuracy, even at the cost of not being first.

We do not report information that we cannot confirm through reliable sources — for instance, from a police department spokesman or an official document, if not from an eyewitness — and we attribute that information by name, not to an unnamed source, in virtually all cases. We do not usually report second-hand news — that is, news that originates with a media outlet not associated with the Sun Journal — and if we do, we identify the source, a practice not always followed by our cousins in the electronic media.

The zooming popularity of social media and its potential for newspapers as a distribution platform put pressure on those practices only if reporters and editors subordinate our primary goal of getting it right. That won’t happen here. We’re excited about possibilities offered by social media for getting and distributing the news and plan to use those tools fully to make our reporting more timely, more accessible and, yes, to beat the competition to the punch. But when speed conflicts with accuracy, we’re not afraid to apply the brakes.

I appreciate when people can use both social media and factchecking effectively. It’s so important to verify your sources properly and it’s a topic I continue to explore. Recently I spoke at the NextGen: Charity event to explore this topic further. Reliable factchecking will go a long way in restoring readers’ trust in newspapers. With only 22% of respondents in our survey finding newspapers “very credible” I think improved factchecking is something newspapers and publishers should think about making a higher priority if they ever want to win back our wholehearted trust.

Infographic: How the Top 50 Nonprofits Do Social Media

I get asked a lot if nonprofits are using social media effectively. After taking a look at the Nonprofit Times list of 100 top nonprofits based on revenue, the craigconnects team decided to look at who was proactively and effectively utilizing social media in August and September of 2011. Do the highest revenue nonprofits use social media the most effectively? How are people responding and interacting? The deal is with social media use on the rise, we decided to check this out and created an infographic to show the results.

A few cool things we figured out:

•92% of the top 50 nonprofits have at least 1 social media presence on their homepage.
•The most followers that an organization has on Twitter is 840,653 (PBS)…
•…but on the other hand, the organization following the most people is following 200,522 (The American Cancer Society)!
•The American Red Cross was the first organization on the list to create a Twitter account.
•Food for the Poor is the most talkative organization on Facebook, and has posted 220 posts over the course of 2 months.
•The organization with the highest revenue, the YMCA, only posted 19 times to Facebook in 2 months, but has over 24,000 Fans. Continue reading “Infographic: How the Top 50 Nonprofits Do Social Media”

New Pew Study Talks War and Sacrifice in the Post-9/11 Era

9/11 was over a decade ago and veterans from the wars have something to say. Here’s the deal: the Pew Research Center wanted to figure out how post-9/11 has impacted lives by surveying a total of 1,853 veterans, (including 712 who served in the military after the attacks of September 11, 2001), and the general public (2,003 adults).

•The majority (96%) of veterans of the post-9/11 era are proud of their military service.
•More than 4 in 10 veterans have reported difficulties readjusting to civilian life.
•37% of veterans have suffered from some sort of post-traumatic stress.
•Of those who had emotionally traumatic or distressing experiences, 3 in 4 say they are still reliving them in the form of flashbacks or nightmares.
•Only 1/3 of post-9/11 veterans say that, given the costs and benefits to the U.S., the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have both been worth fighting.
•On the flip side: 1/3 of post-9/11 veterans say that the wars were not worth fighting for. Continue reading “New Pew Study Talks War and Sacrifice in the Post-9/11 Era”

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