Cyberbullying is one of the few downsides that come with our progress with technology and online cyberspace. Sadly, online harassment is an ongoing issue on many online platforms. In fact, this covers social media and online forums as well.

Perhaps it is the anonymity and far proximity that make people bolder. Besides that, it could be the absence of actual human connection that desensitizes some to behave in such a manner. To find out, Real Research surveyed its audience. Here are the results from the Real Research online harassment survey.


  • Only 22.95% have never faced online harassment
  • Almost half (44.41%) agree that online harassment is a serious problem
  • 39.55% say they experienced online harassment on social media

The Majority of the Respondents Have Faced Online Harassment

From a previous survey, Real Research already found that 58% of online users receive abusive or harassing texts via direct messages on Instagram and much more. Certainly, the world is aware that cyberbullying and online harassment are serious concerns. Hence, for this survey focusing on online harassment, we first asked the respondents what kind of online harassment they have experienced before.

On this, 21.73% say they got physical threats and 5.91% say cyberstalking. To add on, 5.54% say hate speech while 5.53% say sexual harassment. Likewise, 3.85% said offensive name-calling 2.94%, and 1.37% said online rumors. Lastly, 22.93% said they have never experienced online harassment.

Figure 1: The majority have faced online harassment

Up next, the survey asked if respondents ever left comments on a stranger’s post on social media. 55.31% said ‘Yes’. In addition, 57.50% said they exchanged messages or chatted with strangers on social media. More so, 44.41% say online harassment is a serious problem. In contrast, 9.65% say it’s a minor problem while 5.01% say it’s not a problem at all.

Read Also: 58% Have Received Abusive or Harassing Texts Through Direct Messages (DM) on Instagram

Women Are Usually More of a Target Than Men For Online Harassment

On the matter of online harassment targeting women, the survey asked whether respondents felt that women are more likely to be targets of online harassment than men. The results are as follows. Definitely (35.25%), Likely (13.83%), Neutral (19.07%), Unlikely (4.10%), and Not at all (27.76%).

The next question on the survey was a little more specific. We asked which platform did respondents witness or experience online harassment the most. Here, 39.55% said Social Media, 4.87% said online community site, and 4.03% said texting/messaging app. More so, 3.31% said online gaming, 2.74% said online dating site/app, and 2.26% said personal email account.

Going further into detail, the survey asked which social media platform respondents saw the most online harassment. Here, the results say YouTube (23.42%) Facebook (16.20%), Instagram (6.05%), TikTok (4.85%), Twitter (4.28%), Snapchat (3.53%), WhatsApp (1.48%).

Figure 2: YouTube stands on top for online harassment incidents

So, how to stop online harassment? Accordingly, the next question asks what step is imperative to stop online harassment on social media. The majority (30.88%) said platforms should suspend perpetrators’ accounts permanently.

Likewise, 7.61% said press criminal charges against perpetrators, 6.53% said suspend perpetrators’ accounts temporarily, and 6.34% said disclose perpetrators’ real identities. Lastly, 6.02% said respond proactively by deleting the harassing posts and comments or blocking the account.

Read Also: 45.28% Have Been Asked for Money Through Online Dating Apps

Online Harassment Happens Due To Desensitization

Proceeding with the survey, respondents answered what issue is the most targeted for online harassment. The majority (22.84%) said Political Views. Likewise, Sexual Orientation (10.29%), Gender (9.37%), Religion (5.83%), Race/Ethnicity (4.30%), Appearance (3.56%), and Personal Values (2.05%).

Figure 3: The many reasons for facing online harassment

Following after, respondents chose why they think online harassment happens. Here 27.60% said it is because people get desensitized as they spend more time online. More so, 13.24% said online anonymity and physical distance give people no sense of consequences.

Furthermore, 7.01% said they feel bolder as only light punishment is imposed for online harassment. Lastly, 5.93% said the seriousness of online harassment in society is rather apathetic.

To conclude, the survey asked what should be done to reduce the impact of online harassment. The majority (26.47%) said to conduct social campaigns. Adding on, 10.95% say, build strong legislation for punishments. Next, 8.86% say respond proactively when online harassment is reported. Lastly, 7.84% say establish clear guidelines on online harassment on social media.


Survey TitlePublic Opinion on the State of Online Harassment
DurationOctober 27 – November 3, 2021
Number of Participants40,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.