Reporting to social media sites

Reporting to social media sites

Support your child to know how and when to report to a social media site

Parents text content

If your child is on social media, or they will be joining social media soon, supporting them to feel empowered and protected on their socials is key. 

If you are not sure if they are ready yet, read our advice – is your child ready for social media?

Knowing how and when to report directly to social media platforms is just one tool you can help them with, to support safer, happier use of social media. 

5 things you need to know about reporting to social media:

1.  Review the platform's terms and conditions with your child. This can help establish clear boundaries on what is acceptable behaviour and ensure that your child meets the minimum age requirement for the platform. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok typically require users to be at least 13 years old;

2. Remember you can report any content, such as a post, image or comment that is harmful, misleading or damaging. It may be something that you think is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, inappropriate or fake.  However, please note that reporting doesn't guarantee immediate removal, as platforms assess reported content based on their respective rules and policies;

3. Logging out from shared devices and being cautious about accepting friend requests can contribute significantly to their online safety;

4. Adjusting privacy settings to medium or high, emphasising the importance of not sharing personal information with strangers, and emphasising the confidentiality of passwords are all important steps;

5. In situations where an upsetting post has been made, swift action is essential; encourage your child to talk to you if they come across  content that they feel is offensive or content about them which they have found upsetting.

You can support your child more around knowing how and when to report or block by sharing our article on reporting and blocking with them.

Talking to your child about social media

Have open conversations and create a supportive environment where your child feels comfortable discussing their online experiences;

 Let them know they can always talk to you about anything that worries, upsets or concerns them on social media and that you will help them to take action if a post makes them feel this way. This might mean asking the person to take content down or making a report to a platform.

Our #AskTheAwkward resource can help you to get the conversation started, why not read our ‘introduction to asking the awkward’ and find conversation starters and more with our help sheets.


Reporting to social media platforms

Most websites provide an option for users to report to them to request removal of ‘content’ – such as videos, pictures, comments or profiles that might be upsetting. 

It is important to note that making a report doesn’t mean the content will definitely be removed.

Most websites, including social media sites, have a set of rules - 'Terms of Use' (or community standards / community guidelines) - which they expect people using their site to follow. It may help to read these rules before reporting, so you can share which rule you believe has been breached when reporting. websites will only take content down if they deem that one of their rules has been breached.

Illegal and harmful content

The online world plays a huge role in the lives of children and young people. Social media, online gaming, instant messaging platforms, and image-sharing services enable children to interact with their peers, develop and pursue interests, and connect with new communities. However, these platforms and services also come with risks, including online abuse, grooming, and exposure to content that is illegal or harmful.

The Online Safety Act 2023 sets out to minimise these risks, placing new legal duties and responsibilities on online service providers to keep children and young people safe online.

The Act means that tech companies running social networking sites or search engines must promote online safety by tackling illegal material and content that is harmful to children, conducting regular risk assessments, and properly enforcing age limits.

Social media guidance

If you cannot see the platform in our list of commonly used platforms, you can find information relating to a range of apps and sites from Internet Matters.