How to Report Cyberbullying on Social Media

In this article we’re going to discuss how to report cyberbullying on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Reddit. If you or your child has tried talking to the person who is cyberbullying, tried ignoring them, and tried blocking them, then reporting is the next step.

Before we get into the specifics, here’s a general rule about reporting cyberbullying: document it. Take a screenshot of the comment, direct message (DM), private message (PM), abusive content, or whatever. You may need the evidence later, either for your report or if the cyberbullying continues.


To report comments, pages, profiles, fundraisers, ads, events, questions, and more on Facebook, you want to click the ellipses icon (i.e., the three horizontal dots). This will present you with a range of options. You want to click on Report. A window will pop up asking for more details. From there you can fill it out and submit your report. Note that when you report something on Facebook your name will not be revealed.

When it comes to reporting harassing messages, the process is a little different. You will have to fill out this form. Facebook will need you to provide the name or names of those harassing you, a screenshot and/or text of the messages, and a short account of what’s happening in your own words.


To report a tweet, click the down arrow next to the tweet. To report a profile instead of a tweet, click the gear icon next to the profile. If you need to report a DM, you will have to click the ellipses icon (i.e., three horizontal dots).

For each of these things, the process is the same. Clicking these icons will give you a menu of options. Select Report, and you will be prompted for more details.

You can also fill out this form. The form requires a tweet URL as evidence, a description of the problem, and your email address. If you have screenshots of cyberbullying that has since been deleted, let Twitter know in your description of the event.


To report abusive content on Instagram, you will need to fill out this form. Aside from describing the problem, you will have to provide a link to the photo or video that is abusive. If you don’t have direct access, you will have to get help from someone who does.

If someone is impersonating you on Instagram, you will have to fill out this form. Instagram will have to see a copy of your ID. These are the types that are acceptable. They need to see your name and birthdate. Remember to cover up other sensitive parts of the ID, such as license numbers.


To report a Story or a Snap sent to you, press and hold the Story or Snap until you see the flag icon in the bottom left corner. Tap it, and provide a few details about the problem. To report a user, hold their name, tap the gear icon, and then tap Report.


To report cyberbullying on YouTube, you must fill out this form. You will need the username or channel of the person harassing you. This form is for all types of abuse on YouTube, which can include impersonation, hate speech, revealing private information, and more.


Reddit is a large site broken up into smaller forums called subreddits. On Reddit, most harassment is dealt with at the subreddit level. To report harassment or other rule infractions on Reddit, you will have to click the Report button below the comment or PM that is harassing. The report will be made to the moderators of the subreddit in question. Actual Reddit employees, or admins, will not be notified unless many people also report the same problem or user. If you have a serious problem with harassment, scroll to the bottom of Reddit, and click on Contact Us, which is located at the bottom of a column titled Help. From here, click Message the Admins. From here you can report harassment. It is best to include screenshots with your report.

The Bottom Line

Before reporting harassment or cyberbullying you can always hide the type of content you’re seeing or block the person doing the harassing. While this isn’t always an option, it’s often sufficient to solve the problem. Remember, your first step should always be to document every instance the harassment or cyberbullying. That way, if you must escalate, you’ll have evidence on your side.

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When Adults are Engaged in Cyberbullying

Imagine a softball game your kids are playing. They make jokes, goad each other, trash talk a bit, celebrate together, and have fun the way kids do.

Now imagine the same game, but you’re playing with your peers. You do the same things—joking, goading, trash-talking, celebrating, having fun—but you do it differently. Adults have a different frame of reference. We find different things funny. There’s a different level of appropriateness. And in both games, there are probably players who behave badly, but they behave badly in different ways. When the powers-that-be decide to take on that bad behaviour, they use different strategies. Even though the two games are very similar, they play out differently because of the different ages of the players.

Now imagine a third softball game. But in this game, no one can see who the other players are. Some are kids and some are adults, but no one really knows that. The players try and do all the things they’d like to do (jokes, goading, trash talking, etc.), but it’s hard because the players don’t know each other’s frame of reference. And in this hypothetical game, it’s not hard to imagine a kid annoying the other players just by being a kid. And it’s not hard to imagine some of the adult players, not understanding that they’re dealing with a kid, chastising and even bullying the annoying kid player.

That’s one way that you might have a child online who ends up cyberbullied by an adult. It’s possible the adult in question has mental health issues, or behaves differently behind a screen than they would face to face, and still others might not get that they’re interacting with a kid or they might not understand that their actions are harsher than they think. The reality is though that when we think of cyberbullying, we usually think of it as something kids to do other kids. But anyone could be involved. Even adults.

When No One Knows Who’s Who

There’s an old New Yorker cartoon that’s become a famous way of describing the Internet. It features a dog sitting at a computer telling another dog: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

We make a lot of assumptions about the people we meet behind computer screens. We ascribe things like age, gender, and ethnicity based on flimsy evidence and our own biases. One of our biggest assumptions is that cyberbullying is something kids do to other kids. But this isn’t always the case, and kids need to be aware of this potential.

When Adults Act Like Children

Flaming. Name-calling. Humiliation. This is the stuff that you’d think would be beneath an adult. But here’s the truth: these so called ‘online trolls’ are often adults. And sometimes they target children.

For example, in the past we’ve written about Minecraft griefing. It involves someone getting onto a kid’s Minecraft server, usually by tricking them, and then doing things like destroying buildings, crashing servers, and being nasty to the kids. These people will share videos of their actions on social media to try and get followers and make money.

Tell a Trusted Adult & Be an Adult Who Understands

When it comes to dealing with cyberbullying, we always tell kids to go to a trusted adult. But we know from our research that kids frequently don’t trust adults at all. Kids fear that the adults in their lives will just take away their technology in response to cyberbullying, which is a bit like grounding a kid for getting bullied. Taking their device away removes them from their social worlds, so can feel like a punishment. It’s a response that’s prone to backfire, and one that parents should try to avoid, no matter how worried they are about what is happening to their child online.

Fortunately, you can show your child that they can trust you. First, always take the time to understand what’s going on. Listen to your child’s issue, no matter how convoluted, and empathise and ask clarifying questions. Related to this, try and understand more broadly what the Internet means to your child. As an example, ask your child about Snapchat streaks. To a parent, they seem to be an insidious way for Snapchat to ensure that kids keep coming back to Snapchat. To a kid, however, they represent loyalty and commitment to a friendship, or provide a way to let another kid know that you are interested in being their friend.

One thing you can do to facilitate these conversations is to educate yourself about the sites and social media platforms your child uses. Sign up for sites and engage with it long enough to figure out how everything works. A lot of this stuff might seem weird or silly, but it’s important to your child, and will help them feel comfortable talking to you about it. If you keep talking to them, they’ll keep talking to you.

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