Melissa Harris-Perry used to love Twitter, she told viewers on Saturday. But now she finds it hard to even retweet things without the fear of online harassment.
"I am at a point where I don't retweet anything that I really like because I fear that I would send all of my haters, all of the harassment that comes to me, over to some person who doesn't deserve it," the MSNBC host said.
Harris-Perry said that it is this very response -- to become less active online due to the harassment she receives -- that allows the perpetrators to win.
"It's literally quieting whatever little digital voice I would have otherwise had," she added.
A new Pew study released in October revealed how common of a trend online harassment has become. Forty percent of Pew participants said that they have experienced harassment on the Internet in the form of offensive name calling, stalking, sexual harassment, physical threats, embarrassment and sustained harassment.
But while men are more likely to be called bad names or be embarrassed, women face the most extreme and dangerous forms of harassment -- sexual harassment and stalking -- the study found. Twenty-six percent of young women surveyed reported being stalked online, while 25 percent said they have been sexually harassed on the Internet.
H/T The Right Scoop