HomeInsightsOfcom publishes annual Online Nation report 2022 and urges tech firms to keep women safer online

Article by

Online Nation is an annual report that looks at what people are doing online, how they are served by online content providers and platforms, and their attitudes to and experiences of using the internet.

Ofcom notes that real-world concerns about women’s safety and wellbeing are mirrored in the online world, according to Online Nation 2022. Ofcom’s findings reveal that women in the UK are avid users of social media platforms, spending more than a quarter of their waking hours online, around half-an-hour each day more than men (4 hours 11 minutes as opposed to 3 hours 46 minutes). However, for many women, life online is not always a positive experience.

Ofcom found that while most people say the benefits of being online outweigh the risks, women are considerably less likely than men to agree (63% vs 71%). Similarly, fewer women are confident about their online safety (64% vs 73% of men).

Female participants in Ofcom’s research say that they feel less able to share their opinions and have a “voice” online (42% compared to 48% of men). Women are also less likely than men to feel free to be themselves online (33% vs 39%). For many, life online can replicate harmful discriminatory dynamics that exist in wider society, Ofcom says.

Ofcom says that as well as looking in detail at the harms people encounter online, Online Nation 2022 builds a comprehensive picture of the online landscape in the UK today. It delves into our broader online use, experiences and behaviours, as well as the tech companies behind them. Ofcom also aims to predict what the future online landscape might look like. To access the full report, click here.