These are the people targeted by online hate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Jessica Guynn
USA TODAY

Harassed online? You’re not alone.

A new survey from the Anti-Defamation League says people are still reporting alarmingly high rates of hate and violence on the world's most popular online hangouts.

Nearly two-thirds of women, people of color, Jews and others from marginalized communities report experiencing harassment on social media because of their identity, according to the survey, an advance copy of which was shared exclusively with USA TODAY. 

The ADL also conducted a separate survey of young people ages 13 to 17. Nearly half reported experiencing some type of harassment. More than a third said they experienced that harassment in the past 12 months. What's more, 72% of teens from marginalized groups complained of online harassment. 

The story of Carol and Karen:Two experimental Facebook accounts show how the company helped divide America

Facebook has a new problem:Black people use Facebook more than anyone. Now they're leaving.

LGBTQ+ respondents were more likely than any other group surveyed to experience harassment: 66% versus 38%. More than half – 53% – attributed the harassment to their sexual orientation. 

Asian Americans reported a dramatic increase in harassment, from 21% in 2021 to 39% in 2022, mirroring the rise in anti-Asian hate incidents offline.

Women were more than twice as likely to report ever experiencing sexual harassment online as men, with 40% attributing the harassment to their gender. Among non-white women, 81% attributed being harassed to aspects of their identity.

Jewish respondents were more likely – 37% compared with 14% – to attribute harassment to their religious identity. 

Facebook and Instagram on the screens of a tablet and a mobile phone.

The online toxicity documented in the survey echoes years of research that certain groups are singled out for online abuse.

Overall, the rate of online harassment has barely budged, holding steady since 2020 at about 4 in 10 respondents reporting some type of it, the ADL said.

The rate of severe harassment has also not declined significantly. But harassment over the past 12 months is down 5 points from a year earlier. 

Tech companies say they are getting better at identifying and removing online abuse. Still, combating online abuse remains one of the toughest for Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter, which deploy a combination of artificial intelligence and human moderation.

Over the past 12 months, 57% of survey respondents reported harassment on Facebook, 27% on Instagram and 21% on Twitter, according to the ADL survey.

In a statement, Meta said its policies prohibit hate speech and harassment on Facebook and Instagram. 

"We are committed to improving our policies so that people feel safe on our platforms," the statement said. "While we were just made aware of this survey, we will continue to work with civil rights organizations to address issues around speech and social media.” 

Twitter said it continues to combat abuse "motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized."

"Hateful, abusive conduct has no place on our service, and we're focused on improving on our efforts here," the company said in a statement to USA TODAY.

The survey results follow the launch of a Biden administration task force investigating how to prevent online abuse. The task force, which fulfills one of Biden’s campaign promises, will have six months to develop policy recommendations for the government, technology companies, schools and others.