(This is an excerpt from the Facing Facts Online course on hate speech, activity 2.4 on monitoring and data collection)
Depending on the social media platform, you can report (on Facebook and Twitter) or flag (Youtube) a content, but regardless of the expression they all point to the same goal: having content removed.
Before even requesting the removal of any hateful content, make sure you save the URL of the exact link (not the URL of the person’s profile or the Twitter account) AND take a print screen of the content. If, for any reason you need to follow up the case after the content has been removed, you will need proof where and what appeared. Save your URLs and print screens in a shared document, e.g. on Google drive or Dropbox, so even if your computer breaks down, you won’t lose access to your previous reports. Having saved the URLs and the print screens, you can move on to requesting the removal of the content.
Social media companies are less likely to take content down if it’s not illegal (sometimes even if is) but it is worth reporting any hateful content, as if many people report the same content, they are more likely to take it down. So even if you deem a piece of content less harmful, you are encouraged to report it - but brace yourself for less success. In cases of illegal hate speech, there is no doubt about reporting it and there is a higher chance that it will be removed from the internet – or well, from a certain profile or page.
Before moving on to the issues connected to monitoring, as real-life threats and transnational reach, let’s look at the technical aspect of reporting or flagging content on different social media platforms.
“How do I report inappropriate or abusive things on Facebook (ex: nudity, hate speech, threats)?
If you want to report something that goes against our Community Standards but you don't have an account or can't see the content (example: someone blocked you), you may need to ask a friend to help you.
Remember that you should contact local law enforcement if you ever feel threatened by something you see on Facebook.
Please keep in mind that something you don't like on Facebook may not go against our Community Standards. Learn how you can avoid content you don't like on Facebook.”
For the most up-to-date policy, please refer to https://www.facebook.com/help/212722115425932
How to report directly from a Tweet or profile:
You can report directly from an individual Tweet or profile for certain violations, including: spam, abusive or harmful content, inappropriate ads, self-harm and impersonation.
How to report individual Tweets for violations:
Learn how to report Tweets (or Direct Messages) for violations here.
How to report media for violations:
How to report profiles for violations:
- Open the profile you’d like to report.
- Select the overflow icon (on web and Twitter for Android) or tap the gear icon (on Twitter for iOS).
- Select Report and then select the type of issue you’d like to report.
- If you select They’re being abusive or harmful, we’ll ask you to provide additional information about the issue you’re reporting. We may also ask you to select additional Tweets from the account you’re reporting so we have better context to evaluate your report.
- Once you’ve submitted your report, we’ll provide recommendations for additional actions you can take to improve your Twitter experience.
Flag a video: YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A video can be flagged at any time once uploaded to YouTube and then it is reviewed by YouTube staff. If no violations are found by our review team, no amount of flagging will change that and the video will remain on our site. Flagging videos is anonymous, so other users can't tell who flagged a video.
- Go to the video you'd like to report
- Tap More at the top of the video
- Tap Report
- Select a reporting option
- Login to your YouTube account
- Below the player for the video you want to flag, click More
- In the drop-down menu, choose Report
- Select the reason for flagging that best fits the violation in the video
- Provide any additional details taht may help the review team make their decision including timestamps or descriptions of the violation
You can also flag a comment, a channel or a playlist. Click here to see how
You can find more detailed guidelines and further information on removal in the Going further section at the end of this activity.
For the most up-to-date policy, please refer to
For a more detailed, step-by-step removal guide on the three major social media platforms, have a look at the summary here.
Reporting on Facebook
Reporting on Twitter
How to report other types of violations: How to report specific types of violations
Reporting on Youtube
Do you want to know more? Sign up now for the Facing Facts Online course on hate speech!