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Microsoft: the level of politeness on the Internet fell markedly in the second year of the pandemic

The ongoing pandemic was a test for everyone and could not but affect the behavior of users on the Internet. According to a study by Microsoft, people in 22 countries who participated in the survey testify to the aggravation of network relations.

In 2021, the company surveyed 11,067 respondents from 22 countries – in the second year of the pandemic (given that most countries began to take restrictive measures back in the winter of 2020). Users between the ages of 13 and 74 were asked about 21 types of online risks.

The study showed that in 82% of the countries surveyed during the pandemic, online ethics suffered noticeably, and only in 22% of countries the changes were for the better. It is noteworthy that these are not the countries of the “golden billion”, but Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and India. At the same time, in states like Germany, Italy, Poland, the Philippines, and Hungary, there is an increase in negative network sentiment.

Only 17% of respondents noted that the level of network ethics has increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 30% believe that, on the contrary, it has dropped significantly. In 2020, similar indicators were 26 and 22%, respectively. At the same time, the level of “digital mutual assistance” fell from 67% to 56%.


Other important indicators:

  • “The sense of community has become stronger” – 50% against 62% last year;
  • “People began to inspire each other more actively” – 49% versus 57%;
  • “People have begun to unite efforts to cope with the crisis more often” – 53% versus 59%;
  • “People show their frustration on the web” – the indicator increased by 7% to 67%;
  • “People are less tolerant” – 59% versus 54%;
  • finally, 54% of respondents have experienced or witnessed online aggression. In 2020, this figure was 53%.

The numbers make you think – the crisis has shown that the world community is not coping well with joining forces to fight the pandemic, and people are becoming less and less tolerant of each other. The full report will be released on February 8 next year during the Safer Internet Day 2022 event.



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