We’re familiar with the slogan, “If you see something, say something.” This is a powerful message, something to think of when you’re scrolling through posts, photos, videos and tweets on your phone and computer.
The community must be vigilant and flag content that causes discomfort. Posts from family and friends offer a glimpse into someone’s life even if they aren’t seen in person very often and sometimes; in addition, there are cries for help.
Facebook has created and made available many resources within their Facebook Safety Center.
In this section of Facebook, users can read more about policies and access tools to make their Facebook experience better. There is also a Parent’s Portal offering expert advice and guidance. Online bullying has also become more prominent and Facebook has also provided teens, parents and educators with tools to help prevent bullying via the Bullying Prevention Hub.
In addition to videos and articles that have been published in partnership with many child experts, as well as the Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence, Facebook enables users to control their Facebook experience.
Users can easily customize their news feeds to “Snooze” friends for 30-days or the ability to “Unfollow” friend’s posts, which means posts aren’t visible in news feeds but Facebook friendship will remain intact. Posts that a user finds annoying can be easily controlled with these 2 Facebook resources.If a post, video, photo or comment is more offensive in nature, it is advised that it is reported directly to Facebook. This can be done by selecting the 3 dots on the upper right hand of the post and selecting “Give Feedback on This Post”. From there, it’s easy to select a reason and provide additional information. Alternatively, users can fill out a form here. A single report is enough for Facebook to review the content. They don’t just remove it if it was reported a certain amount of times but only if it violates Community Standards.
On Instagram, the process is also similar. Seeing a potentially threatening or suspicious photo or video should be flagged immediately. Users can click on the top right 3 dots and select “Report” which will bring the next screen to select “It’s Spam” or “It’s Inappropriate”. Additional reporting options can be found here.
The Facebook team, which also owns Instagram, has a team of experts dedicated to reviewing content. Many of their backgrounds come from enforcement areas like child and women’s safety and hate speech. The team is global and can review over 40 languages with the help of technology and human review.
Twitter also makes saying something about a tweet easy to do by enabling users to click on the top right and choosing, “Report Tweet” in addition to the other features to control tweets from users. Additional information is located here.
Vanishing content, like what is found on Snapchat, may be difficult for users to report; however Snapchat does have reporting options in place for this reason. When viewing a story, the user is encouraged to press and hold the content to which an option for reporting will show. Alternatively, a form can be filled out online.
Screenshots of any posts – vanishing or not – are always recommended even though the platforms do feature the ability to retrieve deleted posts.
It is always recommended to contact local law enforcement if there is an impending threat to an individual or a group of people. All of these social media platforms do work closely with law enforcement, including government agencies to investigate reports. A reminder that any reports filed do stay anonymous. Don’t dawdle if there is dubious content being published by a friend or family member in the news feed.