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"It's common and a part of being a content creator'': Understanding How Creators Experience and Cope with Hate and Harassment Online

Patrick Gage Kelley
Patrawat Samermit


Content creators—social media personalities with large audiences on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube—face a heightened risk of online hate and harassment. We surveyed 135 creators to understand their personal experiences with attacks (including toxic comments, impersonation, stalking, and more), the coping practices they employ, and gaps they experience with existing solutions (such as moderation or reporting). We find that while a majority of creators view audience interactions favorably, nearly every creator could recall at least one incident of hate and harassment, and attacks are a regular occurrence for one in three creators. As a result of hate and harassment, creators report self-censoring their content and leaving platforms. Through their personal stories, their attitudes towards platform-provided tools, and their strategies for coping with attacks and harms, we inform the broader design space for how to better protect people online from hate and harassment.