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Online harassment is often subjective when it comes to how people perceive the unpleasant or offensive behaviors that they encounter. Indeed, a notable share of Americans who have personally been targets of troubling online behaviors would not label their experience as “online harassment,” according to a new Pew Research Center report.
The Center’s survey conducted last September measured online harassment by asking respondents if they had personally experienced any of the following: offensive name-calling, purposeful embarrassment, stalking, physical threats, sexual harassment and sustained harassment. But in order to get a better understanding of how subjective this concept is, targets of these behaviors were asked if they considered their most recent incident to be “online harassment.”