A new study from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says that 65% of people have experience “severe harassment” when playing video games online.
“Severe harassment,” according to the ADL, includes “physical threats, stalking, and sustained harassment.”
In addition, the study also says that 74% of people have experience at least some type of harassment when playing games online.
ADL’s study surveyed 1,045 respondents from people aged 18 to 45 years old between April 19 and May 1 of this year.
In the study, the following was revealed that “53% of people who reported experiencing harassment said they were targeted for their “race, religion, ability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, while 38% of women surveyed said they were harassed on the basis of their gender.”
But they were not the only ones that were targeted as “35% of people surveyed who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer said they were harassed on the basis of their sexual orientation, while 31% of people surveyed who identify as black or African American said they were harassed because of their race. In addition, 29% of people surveyed said they were doxed while playing games online.”
Doxing is when someone shares personal identifying information about someone such as their real name, address, phone number and more.
“24% of people surveyed who identify as Hispanic/Latinx said they were harassed because of their race while 23% of people surveyed who identify as Asian or Asian American experienced harassment on the basis of their race, while 19% of people surveyed who identify as Jewish or Muslim said they were harassed because of their religion.”
Last but not least, 23% of people surveyed said they were exposed to “extremist ideologies and hateful propaganda,” like discussions about white supremacy, while 8% of people surveyed said people who they were playing with were sympathetic towards ISIS, or the Islamic State and 9% of people surveyed said they were “exposed to discussions about Holocaust denial.”
That being said, 88% of people who surveyed did admit that they also experienced positive social interaction when playing video games online while 51% said in the survey they made friends.
So what can we do about this dilemma?
Multiple huge tech and gaming companies that maintain internet services offer opportunities for victims to report harassment and digital abuse.
But that being said, most of these services still depend on people submitting reports about their harassment.
Steam, the biggest digital storefront for PC gamers, also offers several options to address online abuse and threats.
You can learn more, here.