What Happens When You Report a Personal Attack on Facebook?

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Facebook is a great way to keep in touch, but unfortunately some people use the site to attack or threaten others from behind the safety of a computer monitor. If this happens to you, report the behavior with the report tool, which notifies the appropriate Facebook team to review the content and take the appropriate action, which can range from warning the offender up to involving law enforcement. Understanding how this process works can ease some of the anxiety you feel when someone attacks you online.

Facebook Community Standards

  • Facebook clearly states that safety is its top priority right in its community standards. Facebook does not allow users to threaten, bully or harass others in any fashion including hate speech. While Facebook encourages civil debate and discussion of a variety of topics, personal attacks based on race, religion, gender or any other distinguishing characteristic is strictly forbidden, as is outright threatening other users with bodily harm.

The Report Process

  • When a personal attack is reported, it is routed to the appropriate Facebook User Operation Team depending on the nature of the attack. Harassment is reviewed by the Hate & Harassment Team, hate speech by the Abusive Content Team, and threats of violence and harm are routed to the Safety Team. You may check the status of content you have reported at any time through the Support Dashboard. There, you are able to see if your report has been reviewed and what, if any, action has been taken by Facebook. The Support Dashboard also explains why action was or was not taken.

Consequences of Being Reported

  • If Facebook finds the content you reported violates community standards, the content is removed and the poster is warned not to repeat the offense. If further violations occur, or this is not the first offense for the person, Facebook may disable certain features of the person's account such as messaging or posting comments, or it may disable the offending user's account entirely. In situations where Facebook feels there is a credible threat of violence, the report is escalated to law enforcement.

Your Privacy and Follow-Up Actions

  • At no time during the process is the user you report informed of your name or identity, although if you are the only person the user is harassing, he can deduce who has filed the report. If this causes increased attacks, report again, and Facebook will deal with the repeat offender. It makes sense to unfriend and block the offender, as he will then be unable to reach you directly on Facebook.

References

  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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