If you come across anything on social media which is threatening or offensive, there are different ways to report it. We have given you a condensed version of the safety measures on each popular social media platform below.


Privacy on WhatsApp  (Link)

WhatsApp enables users to control who sees their information. This is done through tools like who can see your last seen, profile picture, and status. You can set all of the above on ‘Contacts Only’ mode so that anyone who is not on your contact list will not be able to view your personal information.

What can be reported?  Link

Any content (whether in the status, profile photos or messages) can be reported, which is:

  • illegal,
  • obscene,
  • defamatory,
  • threatening,
  • intimidating,
  • harassing,
  • hateful,
  • racially,
  • ethnically offensive,
  • encourages conduct that would be illegal.

How can you report it?

A user can report the above content on the app itself, by following the steps below:

  • On Android: Simply go to WhatsApp > Menu Button > Settings > About and Help > Contact Us.
  • On iPhone: Simply go to WhatsApp > Settings > About and Help > Contact Us.
  • On Windows Phone: Simply go to WhatsApp > More > Settings > About > Support.

Note- WhatsApp does not store any messages or data such as photos, videos, messages etc. once it has been delivered to the other person. Therefore, the user will either have to take a screenshot or store the messages for use as evidence.

What action will WhatsApp take?

WhatsApp may ban the user’s account if that person is found to be sharing any content which is listed above. However, WhatsApp may not always do this, and may only monitor the account at times.


When a user receives a message from an unknown number, they have an option of reporting the number as spam inside the chat. The user can also report a group as spam by tapping on the ‘group information’ and clicking the ‘report spam’ option. When a user reports any spam, the contact and their chats are hidden on their phone and the user will no longer receive any messages from that person.


Privacy on Facebook  Link

Facebook enables its users to manage their privacy preferences. The user can-

  • Control who can see what they share
  • Manage what they have shared
  • Control who can find them through a search
  • Report a privacy violation
  • Control tagged posts

This can be done in privacy settings. Facebook has a ‘guard’ feature on the user’s Profile Picture, which enables them to protect their current profile picture from misuse and the user cannot tap share, send in a message, or download from the current profile picture.

What can be reported?

Any Content which is inappropriate for the user can be reported. This can be-

  1. Profiles
  2. Posts
  3. Photos and Videos
  4. Messages
  5. Pages
  6. Groups
  7. Ads
  8. Events
  9. Fundraiser
  10. Questions

The above content can be reported if it violates Facebook’s Community Standards.

Community Standards   Link

The goal of the Community Standards is to encourage expression and create a safe environment for the users of Facebook. Not everything that is upsetting or offensive to the user is necessarily a violation of the Community Standards of Facebook.
The following are the primary community standards of Facebook-

  1. Content should not instigate violence or criminal behaviour
  2. Content should not lead to any of the following: self-injury, suicide, child nudity, sexual exploitation of children, sexual exploitation of adults, bullying, harassment, privacy breaches and image privacy rights.
  3. Objectionable content like hate speech, graphic violence, adult nudity and sexual activity which is cruel and insensitive.
  4. Integrity and Authenticity- The user should not make a fake profile, misrepresent themselves, spam inbox, or spread false news to the other users.
  5. Respecting Intellectual Property

How can you report it?

Abusive content can be reported on Facebook by using the Report link which appears near the content itself. In order to receive the report link, the user needs to click on the ‘more’ option.

If you are not on Facebook, you need to fill out a form for reporting the offensive content.

What is the action taken once the content is reported?

When some content is reported, Facebook reviews the content and removes it if it goes against the Facebook Community Standards. The user’s name and personal information are kept confidential.


Spam involves contacting people with unwanted content or requests. In order to deal with spam, the user needs to secure their account, and report it to Facebook. The user can secure his account by-

    - Protecting their password

    - Never sharing their login information with anyone

    - Logging out of Facebook when not using it

    - Not accepting friend requests by unknown people

    - Not clicking unknown links



By default, only the friends that the user has added can contact them directly or view their story. The user can change their privacy options by clicking on the settings icon and changing the “who can” section

What can you report on Snapchat?  Link

  1. A safety concern regarding a story, snap map, another user’s account, discover, and lenses.
  2. Report any inappropriate lens
  3. Report a Story
  4. Report Abuse

The above content can be reported if it violates the Community Guidelines of Snapchat.

Community Guidelines  Link

  1. Adult Content- Accounts that promote or distribute pornographic content are prohibited.
  2. Nudity or sexually suggestive content involving minors. Users are not allowed to send, save, or post nude posts involving people under the age of 18.
  3. Illegal content- Users are not supposed to use Snapchat for illegal activities.
  4. Invasion of Privacy- Not to take snaps of anything or anybody without their consent.
  5. Threats and Violence- It does not allow users to post snaps depicting unnecessary violence.
  6. Harassment and Bullying
  7. Hate Speech
  8. Terrorism
  9. Spam

How can you report it?  Link

  1. Report a story- the user needs to press hold until the flag icon appears and tap on it.
  2. Report a snap- the user needs to press hold until the flag icon appears on it and then tap on the report option available.
  3. Report an account- the user needs to press hold on the person’s name, tap on the 'settings' icon and then report it.
  4. Hide publishers content- Press hold on the tile on the 'discover' screen and select ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘see less like this’
  5. Report an abuse- it can be reported through the report link which appears near the content.

In case the user has any other concerns regarding reporting any content, they need to go to the Snapchat support site.

What is the action taken?

In case of violation of Snapchat’s Community Guidelines, Snapchat may remove the offending content, terminate that users account, or notify the law enforcement authorities.

What can be reported on Instagram?Link

  1. Hacked Accounts
  2. Impersonation Accounts
  3. Underage Children
  4. Hate Accounts
  5. Intellectual Property violation
  6. Exposed Private Information
  7. Self-Injury
  8. Abuse and Spam
  9. Exploitation

How can you report it?  Link

Post or account- In order to report a post or an account on Instagram, the user needs to click the more icon and click on the report link.

Comment- To report an abusive comment, the user needs to click on the comment and then click on the information icon which appears. If someone is not on Instagram, they need to fill out a specific form to report abuse.

What is the action taken?

Instagram will review the reported content (mentioned above) and then remove it.

Community Guidelines  Link

The Community Guidelines for Instagram are general rules which all the users need to follow-

  1. Sharing of pictures and videos that the user has taken or has a right to share.
  2. Posting of photos and videos which are appropriate for the diverse audience.
  3. Foster meaningful and genuine interactions.
  4. The users need to follow the law.
  5. Respect other users of the Instagram community.
  6. Maintain a supportive environment by not glorifying self-harm.
  7. Be thoughtful while posting newsworthy events.

Please note: This information has been made available to you for your benefit on an ‘as is’ basis, and is only for your information. It does not constitute legal advice and cannot substitute professional legal advice. Our disclaimer policy can be viewed here ( disclaimer policy)

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