A new survey focused on harassment and online gaming reveals just how prevalent the issue is for gamers.
The new survey was conducted by the Anti-Defamation League to get an idea how widespread harassment really is in the modern gaming space. The ADL conducted the survey with a pool of 1,000 gamers and asked about if they have been harassed and how severe it has been.
End results revealed that 74% of people in the survey have experienced some form of harassment while playing online. Within that group, 65% said they were subject to severe harassment, which includes threats of stalking or physical harm. And more than half say they were targets of harassment on the grounds of race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
Some say they have even been invited to join in racist and extremist groups. For example, 23% of people in the survey revealed that they were asked about joining white supremacist groups and conversations while online.
“Video games are an important and extremely popular form of entertainment,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults play games online, yet there are significant problems with hate, harassment and discrimination. At ADL, we see online multiplayer games as social platforms, and we need to fight hate on these platforms with the same seriousness as traditional social media — and for us that starts with quantifying the problem through studies like this.”
The ADL was also able to identify the games where harassment has been the most prevalent over the last few years. At the top of the list was “DOTA 2,” with some gamers saying they gave up playing entirely because of the harassment they faced. Other titles included were “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “Overwatch,” “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” and “League of Legends.”
Moderation by the publishers was also identified as a contributing factor to this kind of harassment because of a lacking approach.
“There’s an expectation that if you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, any text thing—there’s some form of moderation,” Associate Director of ADL’s center for Technology and Society, Daniel Kelley, told Kotaku. “I was looking at both Fortnite and League of Legends’ current policies around harassment and looking at Twitter’s in 2006 and they seem to be carbon copies of each other.”