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Myths and Facts


  • Most harassment occurs on social networking sites.6,16
    30% of young people who have been harassed say it happened on a social networking site. But, 40% say it happened through Instant Messaging, and 29% say it happened while playing a game online. It’s important to be aware of how you interact with others online, as harassment can occur in many different online places.
  • Most youth are harassed at least once at some point when they are online.
    Rates vary depending on how Internet harassment is measured, but in most studies, most youth report not being targeted in the past year.  For example, 91% of youth in the Youth Internet Safety Survey 21 and 76% of youth in the Growing up with Media survey3 reported not being harassed. Therefore online harassment is not necessarily “inevitable” or “normal teen behavior.”


  • Internet harassment happens most frequently by peers. 2
    63% of harassers are reportedly under the age of 18 years of age, as compared to 14% who are 18 years of age and older.  23% of targeted youth said they didn’t know the age of their harasser.
  • Everyone has a responsibility to reduce Internet harassment.
    Internet harassment is neither “normal” nor “okay.” It can be extremely hurtful. There are healthier ways to share thoughts and feelings. If you see someone harassing others, do what you can to try stopping it.  Let the harasser know that you’re not okay with what they’re doing. Because the Internet is a public space, we are all responsible for what happens online, and we all have the ability to make a difference.