USA – Online hate and harassment reaches record highs, ADL survey finds

Over the past year, online hate and harassment rose sharply for adults and teens ages 13-17. Among adults, 52% reported being harassed online in their lifetime, the highest number we have seen in four years, up from 40% in 2022. Both adults and teens also reported being harassed within the past twelve months, up from 23% in 2022 to 33% in 2023 for adults and 36% to 51% for teens. Overall, reports of each type of hate and harassment increased by nearly every measure and within almost every demographic group.

ADL conducts this nationally representative survey annually to find out how many American adults experience hate or harassment on social media; since 2022, we have surveyed teens ages 13-17 as well. The 2023 survey was conducted in March and April 2023 and spans the preceding twelve months. Online hate and harassment remain persistent and entrenched problems on social media platforms.

Key Findings

Key Recommendations

  • Social media companies should enforce hate and harassment policies transparently, equitably, and at scale. This includes limiting high-profile user exceptions and other loopholes that make policies less effective.
  • Social media companies should adopt and implement ADL’s recommended tools and anti-hate by design principles to support targets of harassment, such as allowing users to report multiple harmful comments at once (batch reporting), to enable trusted others to moderate their accounts (delegated access) and to report related activity.
  • At the federal level, legislators should mandate transparency reporting and outlaw doxing. Additionally, regulators should increase consumer protection efforts to disincentivize harmful business practices.
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