Online Harassment is Pervasive, can we Tackle it Effectively?

Harassment online has been in the news again with the Gamergate controversy. In education, all of us are familiar with cyberbullying. This new PEW research survey demonstrates that more than 70% of adults have witnessed harassment online and 40% have been the victims of online harassment. You can read the full survey hereFour-in-ten internet users are victims of online harassment, varying degrees of severity

People often shrug off online harassment, stating “what can we do?” or “it’s the internet, it’s anonymous.” However, many organizations have have actively begun to tackle cyberbullying. Some, like YouTube, have eliminated anonymous postings. Facebook has actively attempted to create an online culture of empathy.

“When kids let someone know they’ve hurt their feelings in a personal way, there’s a strong likelihood that the other kid will take that down,” Dr. Brackett, via New York Times.

The reality is that we have made great strides against harassment online but there is a long way to go. Have you seen online harassment addressed successfully? Do you feel the problem is getting better or worse? What can we do better?

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