Four out of ten internet users have experienced online harassment. 88% of teens say that they have witnessed someone being mean to someone else on social media sites. This resource is designed to help you understand what can you do if someone is targeting you on a social media site.
Different social media sites have different rules about what kinds of posts can be reported, and offer different tools to help users stop harassment. As you read this resource, you should think about which sites offer you more protection and which offer you less. What do you think the ideal tools and content policies would be?
How can I stop someone from contacting me?
Block the person to stop them from being able to message you, add you as a friend, tag you, invite you to events and groups, or view your Timeline.
Unfriend the person to stop them from being able to post on your wall, or view information that you’ve marked “friends only”
Block the person to stop them from being able to follow you, send you direct messages, or see your twitter account. You will not see tweets that they mention you in
Flag a message as abusive to stop that person from being able to message you until you message them first
Block the person to stop them from being able follow you, send you messages, or view your profile. Note that you will not see pictures or comments that they mention you in – which may not be what you want.
If you think a photo or tweet violates the Twitter Rules, you can report it. A Twitter employee will review your report and may remove the photo or tweet or suspend the account of the person who posted it
If you think a photo violates Instagram’s Community Guidelines, you can report it. An Instagram employee will review your report and may remove the photo or suspend the account of the person who posted it
If you think a post or comment violates Reddit’s Content Policy, you can report it. A Reddit employee will review your report and may remove the content or ban the person who posted it
You can report someone to your local police if they are:
Harassing you so that you feel unsafe
Sharing intimate photos of you without your consent
You may be able to sue someone for libel if they are saying untrue things about you to other people which harm your reputation.
You should take screenshots of posts that you want to show to the police:
In IOS, press the Home and Power buttons simultaneously.
In Android, some phones use a combination of pressing the power button and one of the volume buttons. Others use the power button and home button.
On a Mac: press Command-Shift-3 to capture the entire screen or Command-Shift-4 to select the part of your screen you want to capture
On a Chromebook, hold down the Ctrl button and press the Switch Window button.
On a PC: press the PrtSc button, then open Paint and press Ctrl-v to paste the screenshot
However, you should keep in mind that if you don’t know who is harassing you, it will be difficult for you or the police to stop them. If the person who is harassing you lives outside of Canada, it may be difficult for the police to help you, but it has happened. Because most social media companies are outside Canada, and therefore outside the control of Canadian laws, it is best to start with the companies’ own policies and procedures.
We cannot control actions that others may take and it is great that these social media companies have created ways to respond to harassment. But it will save us and the companies a lot of time and effort if we are careful about our own social media actions.
Before posting, commenting or friending, pause for a moment to be sure that you feel good about the content you are sending or the people you are friending. If you feel uncomfortable, you might re-consider.