Being harassed online?

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Is someone using the web to harass you or to spread nasty rumours about you?

You can report a message that makes you feel uncomfortable – like messages that are creepy, nasty, threatening or just keep coming.

A computer with the message "I hate you" on the screen

They log in and check your email

  • If it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend, tell them clearly that it’s your private account and not to do it. See Let’s talk for how to tell them and work it through. If it keeps happening, or if you’re scared to tell them to stop,  you’re not being treated right.
  • If it’s someone you don’t know, delete your email account immediately and set up a new one.

They keep sending you message after message after message..

It could be on Facebook, mySpace, BeBo, a dating site or chat.

1. Tell them stop. Then if you can, block and report it.

  • Tell the person that you do not want them to contact you.
  • You don’t have to say why and you only have to do it once.
  • Ignore any more messages you get from them, but don’t delete them.

2. Save everything

  • Save everything: one of the first impulses of many people is to just delete any creepy or harassing messages, but that’s a bad idea. It’s good to keep it as evidence of what they’re doing – just in case you need it.
  • Save every bit – texts, chat logs, Facebook messages, twitter DMs, emails, anything.
  • If it’s happening on mySpace, take screenshots of comments, messages or photos by pressing “Print Screen” on your keyboard; then on your computer open the “Paint” program: All Programs > Accessories > Paint. Then do Edit > Paste to paste in the screenshot and then save it.

3. Report it

  • If it’s Facebook, mySpace or Bebo, block them and report it (see below).
  • If it’s a dating site, an online game or any other website, contact the site and report it.
  • Tell friends or family members about it.
  • If someone keeps contacting you and it’s making you scared and upset, it sounds like you’re being  stalked. Stalking is illegal. The person could get dangerous. You should contact the police and get their advice. Save any messages or emails to show the police if necessary.

Posting rumours, nasty comments or embarrassing/dirty pictures

  • Report it: If it’s a dirty picture or a nasty name or rumour, report it to Facebook, mySpace or Bebo and the site should remove it.
  • Remove it: If it’s a picture that you don’t like but isn’t dirty, go to the photo and click the “Remove Tag” link next to your name on Facebook. It will no longer be linked to your profile.
  • Tell them: If you don’t want the photo to be shown at all, you could talk to the person who posted it. They should be respectful enough to remove unwanted photos.
  • Remove them as a friend: You can only be tagged in photos by your friends, so if someone keeps tagging you in embarrassing photos, remove them as a friend. See the Facebook instructions below.

Facebook

Email abuse@facebook.com and Facebook Safety tips at http://www.facebook.com/safety/

There are a few things you can do:
  1. Report: You can anonymously report messages to Facebook. Click on the “Report Message” link under the the name and picture of the sender when viewing a message.  Reports are confidential and the user being reported does not know that they have been reported.
  2. Block: You can easily block any user on Facebook from seeing or contacting you by entering their name in the ‘Block People’ section on the Privacy page.
  3. Limit who can find you: You can limit the people who can find you in searches, which in turn limits who can message you. You can also prevent people from messaging you from your search listing. Both options are available on the Search Privacy page.

I’m receiving unwanted Wall postings. What should I do?

  1. Remove postings: You can remove any offensive Wall postings by clicking on the “Delete” link that appears on each posting.
  2. Remove as a friend: If you would like to prevent the individual from leaving any more unwanted postings, just remove the person as a friend from the Friends page. Only your friends can post on your Wall.

Someone is pretending to be me

If someone has created an account to impersonate or imitate you, please go to the impostor profile and click “Report/Block this person” at the bottom of the left column.

Check the “Report this Person” box, choose “Fake Profile” as the reason, and add “Impersonating me or someone else” as the report type. Be sure to add a valid web address (URL) leading to the real profile so that Facebook can review the information.


You can anonymously report offensive profile pictures and content by:
  • clicking on the “Report this Person” link located at the bottom of the profile page.
  • clicking on the “Report Group” link located under the group’s picture.
  • clicking on the “Report” link located under the saved material.

You will be asked to specify the offensive content. Facebook will review your complaint and will act to ensure all users comply with their Terms of Use.

mySpace

mySpace Safety Australia has information on how to change your privacy settings, pre-approve comments, block another user, and turn off the “online now” status icon.

mySpace deletes:

  • violence
  • full nudity
  • hate-based or gang-related language and/or images, and
  • obscenity.

If you stumble across something that shouldn’t be there, here’s what you do:

mySpace screenshot safety link

1. Click on Safety Tips and then ‘Report Abuse’

2. Attach a screen shot if possible

3. Include the MySpace friend ID or vanity profile where you found it (that’s the http:// address that appears in the browser bar, which looks like http://profile.myspace.com/index…&friendid=0000000 or http://MySpace.com/VanityProfile)

mySpace tries to get back to you within 48 hours.

Related links

Photo above from Flickr by 27340884@N07

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