Positive online civility trends reversed one year into pandemic: Microsoft study

ANIUpdated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 07:02 PM IST
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This year's survey marks the sixth straight year of Microsoft's digital civility research/ Representational image |

Teenagers and adults in 18 countries believe perceptions of online civility have deteriorated one year into the global pandemic with respondents in Poland, Philippines, Italy, Germany and Hungary reporting the sharpest net-negative sentiment, a new Microsoft research shows.

Respondents in 82 per cent of the 22 countries surveyed said online civility was net-worse one year into the Covid-19 pandemic while only one country -- Colombia -- reported net-positive online civility after a year of global, stay-at-home restrictions.

The latest findings follow more mixed results about the state of online civility during the initial months of the pandemic in 2020.

Last year, respondents in the Asia Pacific region, for instance, reported an uptick in more respectful online interactions while those in Latin America said digital civility worsened, dampened by a rise in the spread of false and misleading information.

Both research projects were conducted in April and May -- in 2020 when the world was just coming to grips with Covid-19 and again in 2021.

This latest study 'Civility, Safety and Interaction Online 2021' polled teens aged 13 to 17 and adults aged 18 to 74 about their exposure to 21 online risks across four categories: behavioral, sexual, reputational and personal/intrusive.

This year's survey marks the sixth straight year of Microsoft's digital civility research and builds on similar studies in each of the last five years conducted in varying geographies.

A total of 11,067 individuals participated in this year's poll.

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