Jews, teens, LGBTQ bear the brunt of online hate-based harassment- ADL poll

Jewish respondents were more likely than any other group to attribute harassment to their religion. Hate was reported on Facebook more than any other platform.

SOCIAL MEDIA didn’t care about the reality; they cared about the false narrative being promoted, even when it costs Jewish lives around the world. (photo credit: PXHERE)
SOCIAL MEDIA didn’t care about the reality; they cared about the false narrative being promoted, even when it costs Jewish lives around the world.
(photo credit: PXHERE)

A poll by the Anti-Defamation League found that 47% of American youth and 40% of all those surveyed experienced online harassment. 

The ADL’s fourth annual survey on online hate and harassment, released Tuesday, polled 2,330 respondents who identified as Jewish, Muslim, Black or African American, Asian American, Hispanic or Latino/a, and LGBTQ+. It reported that 65% of respondents in marginalized groups, including Jews and people of color, have dealt with harassment based on their identity, with 72% of teenagers (ages 13-17) reporting having faced harassment because of an aspect of their nationality or community. 

Jewish respondents (37%) were more likely than non-Jewish respondents to attribute harassment to their religion.

Harassment was reported on various social media platforms, but Facebook was significantly highest at 57%. Instagram came in with the second highest levels of reported hate at 27%, followed closely by Twitter at 21%. 

 Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC) Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram apps are seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)

"We must hold tech companies accountable"

Results of the poll indicate that social media companies, specifically Meta which runs both Facebook and Instagram,  are not doing enough to protect their platforms, said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

“Hate-based harassment may drive marginalized groups away from online spaces, even as these spaces become central to public discourse, further undermining democracy and free speech.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO

“Social media companies are nowhere near where they need to be when it comes to hate and harassment on their platforms. It’s especially upsetting to see that so many young people are having such negative experiences online,” Greenblatt said. “We must expand our efforts to hold tech companies accountable as online spaces are still unsafe, particularly for those in marginalized communities.”

“Hate-based harassment may drive marginalized groups away from online spaces, even as these spaces become central to public discourse, further undermining democracy and free speech,” he said. 

LGBTQ+ respondents reported the highest levels of online harassment, at 66%. Additionally, Asian Americans reported soaring rates of increased harassment, almost doubling from 21% in 2021 to 39% in 2022. Women were almost three times as likely to report ever encountering sexual harassment online as men were (14% compared to 5%).