#TechTuesday: Anonymous Social Media Post Reporting

(WTNH) — We’ve all heard the slogan, “If you see something, say something.” This is now more important than ever and something to think of when you’re scrolling through posts, photos, videos and tweets on your phone and computer.

It is up to the community to keep an eye out and flag content that results in a feeling of discomfort. Posts from family and friends give a peek into someone’s life even if they aren’t seen in person very often and sometimes, they are cries for help as well.

Facebook has created and made available many resources within their Facebook Safety Center. In this area of Facebook, users can learn more about policies and access tools to make their experience on Facebook better. There is also a Parent’s Portal for expert advice and guidance. Online bullying has also become more prominent and Facebook has also provided teens, parents and educators with tools to help stop bullying through 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 puts users in control of their experience on Facebook.

Users can easily customize their news feeds to “Snooze” friends for 30-days or the ability to “Unfollow” friend’s posts – which means posts won’t be visible in news feeds but Facebook friendship will stay in tact. Posts that a user finds annoying can be easily controlled with these two Facebook functionalities.

Related Content: Social Media and Web Intelligence Help Hartford Police Department Prevent Crimes

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 clicking on the three 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. One 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 three dots and select “Report” which will bring the next screen to select “It’s Spam” or “It’s Inappropriate”. Additional reporting functionalities 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 allowing users to click on the top right and selecting, “Report Tweet” in addition to the other features to control tweets from users. Additional information is published here.

Disappearing content, like what is found on Snapchat, may be difficult for users to report, however Snapchat does have reporting functionalities in place for this reason. When seeing 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 – disappearing or not – are always advised even though the platforms do have the ability to retrieve deleted posts.

It is always strongly advised to contact local law enforcement if there is an imminent 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 remain anonymous. Never hesitate if there is questionable content being published by a friend or family member in the news feed.



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