How to Report Cyber Bullying on Social Media

Category: Social Media

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Kids today spend much more time online than adults ever did at that age. And while this now ushers in opportunities for kids of all ages to connect with others and learn about almost anything they can imagine, it also puts kids at risk for online bullying and social media harassment.

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs online via digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers. Teen cyberbullying continues to grow year after year and according to the British antibullying organization Ditch The Label, and as reported by Tech Crunch, 50% of kids have experienced cyber bullying in the past.

Why Kids Should Report Cyber Bullying

Social media and cyberbullying go hand in hand; the anonymity available on the internet and social focus make it a breeding ground for bullies.  There are many things parents and kids can do if they believe they are being cyberbullied and one of the easiest is to report and block them.  Almost every social media platform and most apps have policies in place that discourage bullying as well as ways to report them. 

Read on to find out how you can report and block cyberbullies in some of your favorite apps.

How to Report Cyber Bullying on Social Media

Facebook

Facebook includes a link to report something on nearly every piece on content posted on their site.  In addition to that, Facebook has created a Bullying Prevention Hub in partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. This hub acts as a resource for teens, parents, and educators seeking help with issues related to bullying.

Facebook Help Center’s “How to Report Things” page provides further instructions on how to report other forms content.  Once reported, users can monitor the status of the issue in their Support Inbox.

To report a profile on Facebook:

  1. Go to the profile that you would like to report.
  2. Select the three-dot icon under the cover photo and select “Give feedback or report this profile”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a post on Facebook:

  1. Select the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of a post and select “Give feedback on this post”.  Facebook will give you the option to report the post after giving feedback.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a photo or video on Facebook:

  1. If you are viewing from your computer, click the photo or video to expand, select the “Options” button in the bottom right corner, and select “Give feedback on this photo”.
  2. If you are viewing from the app, tap the photo or video to expand it, select the three-dot icon in the upper right corner, and select “Give feedback or report this photo”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report messages on Facebook:

  1. Facebook provides forms to report messages and secret conversations in their Help Center

Instagram

Instagram strives to create a safe and authentic community and outlines this in it’s community guidelines in addition to offering numerous ways to report cyber bullying.

To report a profile on Instagram:

  1. Go to the profile that you would like to report.
  2. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner and select “Report”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a post on Instagram:

  1. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the post and select “Report”.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a comment on Instagram:

  1. If viewing in the iOS app, swipe left over the comment and tap the report icon .
  2. If viewing in the Android app, tap and hold the comment you would like to report and select the report button  in the upper right corner.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a direct message conversation Instagram:

  1. Open the direct message conversation that you would like to report.
  2. Tap the name of the sender at the top of your screen and select “Report”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Twitter

After reporting content or a person on Twitter, Twitter will continue to send optional follow up emails and notifications on the status of the issue.

To report an account on Twitter:

  1. Go to the account profile that you would like to report.
  2. If viewing on iOS, click or tap the gear icon under the header photo and select “Report user”.
  3. If viewing on Android, click or tap the three-dot icon under the header photo and select “Report user”.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a tweet on Twitter:

  1. Click or tap the downward pointing arrow on the tweet that you would like to report and select “Report Tweet”.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a direct message conversation on Twitter:

  1. Open the conversation that you would like to report.
  2. Click or tap the information symbol in the upper right corner and select “Report user”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Snapchat

The Snapchat team works hard to resolve cases of abuse and bullying, every report that is received is typically reviewed by a Snapchat team member within 24 hours.

To report a snap on Snapchat:

  1. Tap and hold the snap until a flag icon appears in the bottom left corner.
  2. Tap the flag icon to report.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report an account on Snapchat:

  1. Tap and hold the snapchatter’s name you would like to report.
  2. Select the settings button with the gear icon and select “Report”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a story on Snapchat:

  1. Tap and hold the snap story until a flag icon appears in the bottom left corner.
  2. Tap the flag icon to report.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

YouTube

YouTube does offer some parental controls in the form of a “Restricted Mode” that can be turned on in an account’s settings or through the YouTube Kids app, but these can be flawed and do not protect your children from all inappropriate content. Learn more about how to enable Restricted Mode on YouTube.

To report a video on YouTube:

  1. If viewing on a computer click the flag icon under the video.
  2. If viewing in the app the three-dot icon in the upper right corner and select “Report”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a comment on YouTube:

  1. Click or tap the three-dot icon on the comment you would report and select “Report”.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Kik

Because Kik takes the safety of it’s users seriously and does not condone any sort of abuse, it offers multiples ways for users to report cyber bullying at different levels of chatting.

To report a chat on Kik:

  1. Tap the profile picture beside the message of the user and select “Report User”.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report user without a chat on Kik:

  1. Tap the display name at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the three-dot icon in the top right corner and select “Report User”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a group on Kik:

  1. In the group chat, tap the group name at the top.
  2. Tape the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select “Report Group”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

To report a group member on Kik:

  1. In the group chat, tap the profile picture of the user you would like to report.
  2. Tap the three-dot icon and select “Report”.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp can be a hotbed for cyber bullying as a messaging and social app, they have provided tools and external links to help keep users safe.

To report a person, group, or conversation on Android devices:

  1. Tap the menu button, select settings, select about and help, and select contact us.

To report a person, group, or conversation on iOS devices:

  1. Tap the settings button, select about and help, and select contact us.

To report a person, group, or conversation on Windows phones:

  1. Select the more button, select settings, select about, select support.

How to Block Cyberbullies on Social Media

While reporting is the first step when it comes to cyberbullies, users may want to consider blocking other offending users to cut all contact.

Facebook

  1. Go to the user’s or page’s profile that you would like to block.
  2. Click or tap the three-dot icon under the cover photo and select “Block”.

Instagram

  1. Go to the profile page of the user you would like to block.
  2. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner and select “Block”.

Twitter

To block from a Tweet:

  1. Click or tap the downward pointing arrow on the users’ tweet and select “Block user”.

To block from a profile:

  1. Go to the account that you would like to block.
  2. If viewing on iOS, click or tap the gear icon under the header photo and select “Block user”.
  3. If viewing on Android, click or tap the three-dot icon under the header photo and select “Block user”.

Snapchat

  1. Tap and hold the snapchatter’s name you would like to report.
  2. Select the settings button with the gear icon and select “Block”.

YouTube

  1. If viewing on the computer, go the channel of the user you would like to block, select the about tab, click the flag icon and select “Block user”.
  2. If viewing in the app, tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner and select “Block user”.

Kik

  1. Tap the display name at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the more icon in the top right corner and select “Block user”.

WhatsApp

  1. Select settings in the lower right corner, select account, select privacy, and select blocked.
  2. Tap “Add New…” and select the contact you would like to block .

Unfortunately, anyone can be a victim of cyberbullying and it can be difficult to know what to do if it happens to you or someone you know.  Seeking help from adults, reporting the incident and blocking the user are some of the first steps you can take if you are being cyberbullied.

For more information on cyberbullying, read our Cyberbullying Guidebook for Parents.

About Katherine Cromleigh

Katherine Cromleigh is a recent graduate from West Chester University and is studying communications at Purdue University.  She is currently a Social Media and Editorial Contractor at Zift and hopes to add to the conversation surrounding technology and today's youth.

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