Social Media businesses are governed by the laws of the country in which they are head-quartered, but they are also expected to comply with local laws where they operate. Most Social Media sites have a reporting system in place aimed at flagging inappropriate content, however, they do come under a lot of criticism for not taking online safety seriously enough.
They do not tolerate bullying or abuse and say that once they are aware of it, they will remove bullying content and may disable the account of anyone who is bullying another. They adhere to a set of Community Standards (https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/) which include that Facebook will not tolerate:
Using the Report Links which appear on the page, you can report bullying to Facebook. A ‘drop down arrow’ should appear giving you a menu option to report the image, post or comment.
You can unfriend or block a person from Facebook. Click on their profile, on the message dropdown you will see the option to ‘unfriend’ and/or ‘block’.
If a person sends you a tweet or replies to a tweet with a comment that you don’t like, you can unfollow that person. To stop them from further contacting you, you can block them. If you receive unwanted replies or abuse or threats from someone on Twitter, you can report them direct to Twitter https://support.twitter.com/forms/abusiveuser
You can protect your tweets so that people can only follow you if you approve them first. Do this by going into the ‘settings’ menu, then ‘security and privacy’ and ticking the ‘protect my tweets’ box.
To remove or block someone on Twitter, click on the button with a head icon on it next to the ‘Follow’ button on a user’s profile. When you click on this you will see a menu with the options to ‘block’ the user to prevent them from seeing your profile and you can also ‘report for spam’, which will alert Twitter to any users who are abusing the service.
YouTube state that videos with hate content, graphic violence or nudity cannot be uploaded so if you see one, report it as inappropriate.
To remove someone from your YouTube page, go to your account page and click on ‘all contacts’ in the ‘Friends and Contacts’ section. Choose which person you wish to unfriend and click on the ‘remove contact’. Once you have done this, the person will no longer be on your ‘share video’ list.
If you receive abusive, bullying or threatening comments on YouTube, you can report them and they will investigate https://www.youtube.com/reportabuse
Bullying or abuse on Instagram can take place in a number of ways:
Instagram’s advice is to block and unfollow the person who is being abusive. If it continues, you can report it here https://help.instagram.com/165828726894770
To block someone on Instagram, tap their username to open their profile, tap the three dots and press the option to ‘block user’.
Bullying through Snapchat takes place in a number of different ways, including:
If this happens to you, you can block a ‘friend’.
To block someone who added you on Snapchat:
This will prevent them from sending you Snaps or Chats or from viewing your content.
If a person is bullying or harassing you or you receive an inappropriate image, report it by completing their online form https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/i-need-help
Legally, you have to be over 16 to use WhatsApp. As this is a messaging service, bullying can happen in many ways via WhatsApp. Once you install the App, it checks your address book and connects you automatically to anyone else you know who is using the App. You can block and delete a contact who may be bullying you through WhatsApp:
You can find out more by emailing WhatsApp at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to watch our ‘Staying Safe Online’ video
Click here to watch our ‘Protect yourself Online’ video
Of course, all sites have a responsibility to keep their users safe and to ensure that all reports of cyber-bullying and abuse are dealt with effectively, however, we, as users of such sites, also have a responsibility to make sure we are using them in a safe, respectful and appropriate manner.