Teens, kindness and cruelty on the social web

The majority of teen social media users find online social networks to be “mostly kind” spaces, yet 88% have witnessed mean or cruel behavior there.

15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on the sites.

Parents and peers serve as the most important influences and sources of advice on online safety issues.

As social media use has become pervasive in the lives of American teens, a new study by Pew finds that 69% of the teenagers who use social networking sites say their peers are mostly kind to one another on such sites. Still, 88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites.

Adult social network users are less likely to say they witness or experience this type of behavior, but they still report that it is prevalent: 69% of the adults who use social networking sites say they have seen people be mean and cruel to others on those sites.

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