Back in the day when perhaps many of us were still naive when it came to the internet, messaging complete strangers online and getting a response was actually pretty easy. Nowadays whenever you receive a message from a stranger, you tend to be more wary because it could be malware, trolls, spam, hackers, and so on.

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However despite there being more filters and tools to block out abuse online, a recent study by the Pew Research Center has found that over the years, online harassment has actually increased. According to the latest numbers, 41% of adults who were surveyed claimed that they have been personally harassed online. This is versus back in 2014 when the last study was conducted where the response was at 35%, meaning that online harassment in general has increased by as much as 6%.

This includes an increase in offensive name-calling, purposeful embarrassment, physical threats, and sexual harassment. Interestingly enough the study found that online stalking has maintained at 7% over the years, which we guess is a good thing. That being said, it is rather discouraging to see that online harassment has increased.

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have in recent times introduced more tools and options to block out spammers and trolls, so whether or not this will have an impact in the long-run remains to be seen.

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