The consequences of online violence are serious: In Germany, 11 percent of those affected use social media less, 9 percent no longer post, and 5 percent leave the platforms altogether. In contrast to the global results, Instagram is the platform with the most attacks, with 45 percent in Germany, ahead of Facebook with 35 percent.
The forms of harassment experienced by the girls and young women surveyed, either personally or around friends, include name-calling and insults, sexual harassment, personal humiliation, body-shaming, racist comments, stalking, comments against sexual orientation, anti-LGBTIQ+, and threats of physical violence.
The study shows that girls and young women are regularly subjected to online attacks regardless of the countries in which they live. It is also apparent that current reporting mechanisms are clearly insufficient to effectively address this phenomenon. For this reason, Plan International Germany has initiated an open letter and calls on all users of social media to sign it and thus demand effective measures from the operators of digital platforms.
The most important results of the German survey at a glance:
- 70 percent of respondents have experienced digital violence and harassment on social media. This is 12 percentage points higher than the figure for global respondents (58 percent).
- The platform on which those affected in Germany experience the most harassment is Instagram (45 percent), followed by Facebook (35 percent), YouTube (22 percent), Snapchat (19 percent), TikTok (9 percent) and Twitter (8 percent).
- 23 percent of affected girls feel anxiety from insults, put-downs and threats, which can be felt physically.
- 32 percent of affected girls feel mental or emotional stress, and 30 percent have lower self-esteem or less self-confidence.
- 11 percent of affected girls report using social media less, 9 percent stop posting, and 5 percent leave the platform.
- 52 percent of those affected report inappropriate content. This puts Germany 17 percentage points above the global figure.
- Free to be online? report 2020 (full text)
- Free to be online? report 2020 (summary, German)
- klicksafe article: Dickpics, porn stickers, dirty talk - sexual harassment in social networks and messengers
- klicksafe topic cyber bullying
- klicksafe topic area cyber-grooming
- Find help for violence, harassment and bullying on jugend.support
- Europe-wide campaign #DigitalRespect4Her