Research Shows Online Political Harassment Doubled From 2014 to 2016

Anti-bullying experts agree that kids are more likely to act like a bully when they witness their parents bullying others.

Posted: Jun 14, 2017 5:06 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 8:55 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Anti-bullying experts agree that kids are more likely to act like a bully when they witness their parents bullying others. 

A Pew Research Center study found about 20 percent of people on social media have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone because of political posts.

Pew Research also revealed that 21 percent of teens who witness online cruelty have joined in.

A different research project found political harassment online almost doubled from 2014 to 2016.

A nonprofit found "1 million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyber bullying on Facebook during the past year."

The group stopbullying.gov found that 12 out of 15 school shooters had a history of being bullied.

Congressman Greg Walden points to online political harassment as a possible reason for recent violence, such as the Virginia shooting.

"I just think what starts online is now appearing in person and its a level of instability that's not helpful in the public discourse,” says Rep. Greg Walden.

Cyber-bullying can take many forms - at its root is "a show of power, aggression, and a negative action that is repeated,” according to the group Violence Prevention Works.

If you feel threatened, you can take a screen shot of the comment in question and report it to police.

On Sunday, we will continue our conversation into Standing Up to Bullying. You can watch or DVR our 30 minute special at 2:30 p.m.

NewsWatch 12 will sit down with experts to talk about the realities of bullying and the steps you can take to stand up to it.

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