WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Nearly nine of 10 American youths using social media sites say they have witnessed someone being mean or cruel to another online, a report says.
The Pew Research Center report found 95 percent of youths ages 12 to 17 are online and 80 percent of them use social media sites.
Of those using such sites, 88 percent said they had witnessed mean or cruel behavior online --- 12 percent frequently, 29 percent sometimes and 47 percent only "once in a while."
About 15 percent of the young social media users said they had been a target of online meanness, the report found. The researchers found no statistically significant differences in victims by age, gender, race or socio-economic status.
About seven of 10, 69 percent, of the young social media users said they believe other young users are mostly kind to one another on the sites, while 20 percent said others were unkind.
The report also found 58 percent of the young social media users have felt closer to another person because of an experience on a social networking site.
The report is based on interviews with experts, seven focus groups with middle and high school students and telephone surveys from April 19-July 14 of 799 youths ages 12-17 and a parent or guardian of each. The margin of error is 5 percentage points for the full sample and 6 percentage points for 623 young social network users.