Press Release

Exposure to White Supremacist Ideologies in Online Gaming Doubled in 2022, New ADL Survey Finds

Three-quarters of all adult gamers experienced severe in-game harassment


New York, NY, December 7, 2022 …  One in five adults reported being exposed to white-supremacist ideologies in online games in 2022, according to a new survey by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Center for Technology & Society. This is a startling increase from 8 percent who reported this in 2021.

In its annual Hate and Harassment in Online Games survey, ADL also found that 15 percent of young people ages 10-17 reported being exposed to discussions of white supremacist ideologies in online games.

The games where young and adult players most often encounter extremist white-supremacist ideologies are Call of Duty, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto, PUBG: Battlegrounds, Valorant and World of Warcraft.

“White supremacists and extremists are pushing their ideas into the mainstream across society, including online games,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We know that what starts online doesn’t always end online – It can have deadly consequences in our communities. Online gaming companies have the ability to better moderate their content, but most have fully abdicated any responsibility to protect users and their communities.”

In addition to increased exposure to white supremacy, adult users also experienced a marked increase in identity-based harassment. The identities most targeted included Jewish (34 percent compared to 22 percent in 2021), Latino (31 percent compared to 25 percent in 2021) and Muslim (30 percent compared to 26 percent in 2021). In contrast to the previous three years of this survey, the number of Jews who experienced hate rose; in previous years, the rate had decreased or remained static.  Overall, women experienced the most identity-based harassment at 47 percent, but this number has declined since 2019.

Severe harassment — including physical threats, stalking, and sustained harassment — also increased: from 71 percent to 77 percent of adults, representing almost 80 million American adults.

Most adults (86 percent) have experienced some harassment in online multiplayer games—representing over 67 million adult gamers. And 66 percent of teens (ages 13-17) and 70 percent of pre-teens (ages 10-12) experienced harassment in online multiplayer games—representing nearly 17 million young gamers. At least 46 percent of young gamers experienced harassment in every game included in this survey.

“As online gaming becomes ever more common in America, it also becomes an increasingly common entry to extremist ideas and the gateway to violent antisemitism, racism, misogyny and more,” said Greenblatt. “While there is no doubt there are positive benefits for millions of gamers, these benefits must be balanced with the unmitigated spread of hate and harassment running rife in these games.”

The report also included detailed recommendations for the gaming industry, government, civil society, and caregivers and educators to address online hate and harassment. These recommendations align with ADL’s REPAIR Plan to fight hate in the digital world, and include:


  • Implementing industry-wide policy and design practices to better address white supremacy;
  • Releasing consistent transparency reports on hate and harassment;
  • Submitting to regularly scheduled independent audits, strengthening and enforcing moderation policies; and
  • Improving reporting systems and support for targets of harassment, building content moderation tools for in-game voice chat, and including metrics on extremism and toxicity in the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s rating systems of games.

This nationally representative survey was conducted by ADL, in collaboration with Newzoo, a data analytics firm focused on games and esports. Together, they collected responses from 2,134 Americans who play games across PC, console, and mobile platforms, including 1,931 responses from people who play online multiplayer games. For young people ages 10-17, the survey also collected responses from their parents or guardians as part of the screening process.