Only a third (35 per cent) have reported abuse on social media platforms to the site, with half saying they would have if they knew how, research from Harris Interactive has found.
The survey of 5,517 UK citizens found that one in 12 (eight per cent) of users have suffered trolling on social media in some form or another; with 12 per cent admitted that they took the decision to abuse the person behind the trolling in retaliation.
More users of Ask.fm (15 per cent) had experienced abuse than any other network, compared to six per cent on Facebook and 2.5 per cent on Twitter.
Lee Langford, research director for telecoms, media, technology and entertainment at Harris Interactive, said: “Harassment and bullying is an age-old problem but the rise in digital media has aggravated the issue. The fact that harassment on social networks occurs is not the debate - it’s how we can tackle it.
"It’s interesting to note the high percentage of people who say they would have reported the abuse had they known how to, or if the process was simpler. More steps need to be taken by networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm, to increase the effectiveness of reporting tools to prevent trolling.”
It was found that ten per cent of females have been trolled, with this number rising for the 16-24 year old age bracket (18 per cent).
CEO of BeatBullying, Emma-Jane Cross said: “Social networking sites need to take their users’ safety seriously, which includes making reporting procedures much clearer and ensuring a swift response when abuse is recorded.”
Two thirds (65 per cent) of those abused on social media have blocked the culprit.