Facts Statistics and information about cyber hate

Today, many people are exposed to threats, hate, violations, and harassment online. The types of cyber hate that are reported most often are hate crimes.

Hate crime is a collective term for crimes committed based on racist, anti-religious, homophobic, biphobic, or transphobia opinions. Read more about hate crime legislation online.

Hate crimes

Who is affected?

According to  BRÅ’s report on cyber hate crimes reported to the police (2015) it appears that more men than women are perpetrators of these types of crimes.

Statistics show that young men cyber hate twice as much as young women, and that women are exposed to more threats, hate, and violations on the internet than men. The most common cyber crime that women report is involuntarily published pictures, while men report that they have received violent threats.

In an internet report from 2017, the organization Friends points out that 1 in 10 young people have been exposed to online bullying, and that 18% of the girls and 6% of the boys have been exposed to sexual harassment online.

In her dissertation from 2018, Maria Fridh, doctor in medical science at Lund University, describes that there are clear connections between cyber hate and mental health problems. The study is based on thousands of survey answers from 9th grade students and shows that the risk of being exposed to internet harassment is twice as large if you have a disability.

The study also shows that girls are more exposed to violations on the internet than boys, and the connection to mental health problems becomes stronger if you are exposed many times. Despite this, the study also shows the connection between internet bullying and mental health problems, even if the person is only exposed occasionally.

Statistics about people’s exposure to cyber hate assume that there are only two binary genders, which ignores how trans and nonbinary people are exposed to violations on the internet.

To make trans and nonbinary perspectives visible, RFSL has reported results from the Swedish participants in Transgender Europe’s survey study. The study shows that trans people feel worse in general than the cisnormative part of the population, and nonbinary people are particularly vulnerable. 

The study shows that those of us who do not identify with binary gender are subjected to a lot of violations on the internet. The study does not specifically focus on cyber hate, like Maria Fridh’s dissertation, but it is important to acknowledge that trans and nonbinary people are exposed to a lot of cyber hate. This is a possible factor that can lead to mental health problems.

Cyber hate on social media 

The organization Cyber Hate Examiner (Näthatsgranskaren) has investigated various Facebook groups to find out what cyber hate looks like on social media. 

They point out, among other things, that the hate in Facebook groups has several targets, but that the posts and comments are often aimed at immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims, Jews, the government, politicians, officials, feminists, and LGBTQ people.

In many Facebook groups, it is possible to see a normalization of the hate where language and expressions are used that would not be accepted in other social contexts. Many times, there is an ignorance around the fact that you do not have the right to express yourself however you want on the internet, and that what you are doing is often a crime. 

Low number of cyber offences brought to justice

Violations and threats on the internet are rarely brought to justice and about 96% of reports are dropped by the police or prosecutors. The fact that only a small percentage of cyber hate crimes are brought to justice is due to difficulties in identifying a suspect, for example, and other difficulties in being able to prove the crime. Make sure you gather digital evidence correctly – use our guide.

Gather digital evidence.

In order for this to change, it is important that you report crimes that happen online if you experience them, so that authorities see, take responsibility, and prioritize cyber hate. To gather the energy to do this, or to get another type of support – use civil society organizations so that you get the right treatment and feel that your situation is being acknowledged. Cyber hate is a democratic threat, and we need to back each other up.

Support and help.


The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention Report 2015: 6, Friends- Internet report 2017Cyber Hate Examiner (Näthatsgranskaren)Maria Fridh - DissertationRFSL Report