Harassment in online games on the rise, according to ADL

Harassment in online games on the rise, according to ADL

In news that will surprise few, harassment in online video games continues to rise.

That's according to new research published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which shows that there has been a persistent increase in harassment and hateful ideology in video games. This is the fourth year in a row that the ADL has recorded a rise in harassment.

The organisation says that the percentage of adults exposed to white supremacist ideology had risen from eight per cent in 2021 to 20 per cent in 2022. 15 per cent of kids aged between 10 and 17 had been exposed to these ideas, too.

The ADL reports that 86 per cent of adults have experienced harassment in games, as well as 66 per cent of teenagers and 70 per cent of kids aged between 10 and 12.

"As online gaming becomes ever more common in America, it also becomes an increasingly common entry to extremist ideas and the gateway to violent antisemitism, racism, misogyny and more," the ADL's CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

"While there is no doubt there are positive benefits for millions of gamers, these benefits must be balanced with the unmitigated spread of hate and harassment running rife in these games."

This research was produced in collaboration with Newzoo who collected information from 2,134 gamers based in the US.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.