More than one in three Australians say they’ve experienced online harassment, which includes abusive behavior, unwanted sexual messages and intimidation, a new study from The Australia Institute has found.

The survey, which asked 1557 Australian workers about online harassment and cyber hate, found more than one in three were targeted – the equivalent of 8.8 million people.

“Sadly our research shows that online harassment and abusive behavior is widespread and has negative impacts on the well being of many internet users,” researcher Tom Swann said.

“This will come as no surprise to the many people who have experienced it.”

The most common age group targeted were aged between 18-34.

“Younger people were much more likely to experience online harassment. This is unsurprising as they generally use the internet more. Yet the meaner side of internet impacts all kinds of internet users,” Ms Swann said.

“Experience of this more extreme abuse was much higher in younger groups and among those who use the internet most often.”

– Riley Morgan, SBS News

Read more: One in Three Australians Say They’ve Been Trolled Online

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