While there were more refined manners around the world, Microsoft saw the biggest improvements in the US (yes, really!), Belgium, France and Germany.
Before you break out the tea and crumpets to celebrate the return of politeness, there are some sore points. For one, the consequences of dealing with incivility were more prevalent, with more people (three to four points in each category) becoming distrustful, stressed, sleepless and withdrawn when situations turned sour. People were also less likely to think before replying, treat others with dignity or stick up for victims. And while civility is better than it had been in previous studies for those four countries, it was still slightly higher overall than it was when Microsoft started its index two years ago.
On top of this, we'd point out that Microsoft is judging internet civility by its own criteria -- we're sure many people would beg to differ. You only have to wade into the comments on a video, or a screeching political debate on a social network, to know that "civil" might be a relative term here. This data does offer a glimmer of hope, but it could be a long, long while before the internet sheds its reputation as a dumpster fire.