Social media is a powerful tool for promoting a cause, but lax posting policies also leave plenty of room for users to spout racist, hateful and violent rhetoric or to dox innocent people.
When social media platforms aren’t quick on the draw to monitor and take down abusive content, you can help them out by flagging or reporting posts. Here’s a quick review of what’s allowed on major platforms and how you can report violations.
How to report content on Twitter
Twitter’s rules prohibit content that promotes, threatens, or incites hate, violence or harassment against any individual or group. This includes violent extremism and terrorism.
To report abusive behaviour, go directly to the tweet, DM, list or profile you want to flag.
Tweet: tap the down arrow icon > Report > It’s abusive or harmful
Account: tap the overflow icon (three vertical dots) > Report > It’s abusive or harmful
Direct message: hover over (or tap and hold on mobile) the message and select the report icon > Report @username > It’s abusive or harmful
List: tap the overflow icon (three horizontal dots) > Report > It’s abusive or harmful
You may have to provide additional info about the abusive content to finalise and submit your report.
How to report content on Instagram
Instagram’s community guidelines prohibit hate speech, threats and posts targeting or harassing individuals.
To report abusive Instagram posts or profiles, tap the three dots (horizontal on iOS, vertical on Android) > Report and follow the instructions.
How to report content on Facebook
Facebook’s community standards prohibit hate speech, inciting violence, and groups or individuals that “proclaim a violent mission.”
To report abusive content on Facebook, go to the specific message, post, page or profile you want to flag. The process will vary a bit depending on which type of content you’re reporting, but in general you’re looking for a “More” or Settings menu (three dots or a gear wheel) where you’ll see the Find support or report profile/post option. You’ll have to describe how the content violates Facebook’s community standards.
If you’re having trouble viewing the content or finding the reporting link, Facebook has a guide for each content type.
How to report content on YouTube
YouTube’s community guidelines prohibit content that promotes violence or hatred as well as threats, harassment and cyberbullying.
You can flag videos, playlists, links, comments and channels that violate YouTube’s guidelines. The interface will look a bit different depending on what you’re flagging and the device you’re using, but look for the More (three dots) option on the page and select Report.
To submit more detailed feedback, to flag multiple pieces of content at onceÂ or to report abuse targeted directly at you, use YouTube’s Reporting Tool.