At least one in 10 Facebook users have received abusive or insulting messages on the site, a new study has found.

According to the study, 10 per cent Facebook users have experienced someone posting insulting or abusive messages on their wall, or sending insulting, abusive or threatening private messages.

Sixty-one per cent people said it has happened just once or twice, while eight per cent claimed to receive ‘anti-social’ messages about once a month, and three per cent receive them a few times a month, The Telegraph reported.

A further three per cent said they have received more than five such messages in the past year, found the study by Global Market Insite, a provider of technology enabled solutions for global market research.

In 62 per cent of cases, the insult came from people the recipient knows in real life, but 27 per cent said the perpetrator wasn’t even on their Facebook friends list.

Two thirds responded by blocking the offender, while just over a quarter used the ‘Report’ link provided by Facebook.

Others dealt with the situation by taking advantage of the privacy settings (14 per cent), setting up a limited profile (six per cent), stopping using Facebook (five per cent) and closing their account (three per cent), 14 per cent asked the perpetrator to stop.

On Twitter only five per cent reported threatening, insulting or abusive tweets, although this is likely to be because half of all Twitter users said they have an account merely to follow others. Only three per cent of respondents said that they have been asked to delete a tweet.

“In the virtual world of social media people may feel it is easy and anonymous to send insulting or abusive messages to other users. Our research shows that most people on Facebook are currently able to tackle the problem themselves using the technology provided,” Ralph Risk, Marketing Director Europe, said.

“The strength of social media has always been the opportunity to easily connect and interact with friends and groups, but to ensure its continued flexibility is not restricted by legislation, it is important that the ability to limit exposure to insulting and abusive messages is simple for users to control themselves,” Risk said.

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