What are my options?

Get in touch with Netsafe

If you need help, advice or support with any kind of online issue, Netsafe can help.

They are a non-profit organisation with a helpline set up to help people with online safety and online issues.

Netsafe have years of experience in helping young people deal with harm online, their service is free and confidential.

Find out more by visiting their website or checking out the services section.


Use the reporting tools

There are a wide range of reporting tools that you can use to ask for the photos or videos to be taken down.

The content does need to breach the standards of the platform and sometimes, simply being embarrassing might not be enough for them to take it down.

That does not mean that the content is ok, it just means that it is not clear enough to the platform that this is serious.

They will take the report more seriously if it comes directly from you (rather than having a friend report it).

Check out the icons below for how you can report negative or harmful photos or videos on the different platforms.


Untag yourself and check your settings

If you have been tagged in the photos/video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you can ‘untag’ yourself pretty easily, check out the icons above for how to do this.

Doing this means that the photo/video will not show up on your timeline or feed but it will still be seen by other people who are friends of the person who made it.

You cannot remove a ‘mention’ on a Twitter post, only a ‘tag’ on a photo or video.

On Facebook or Instagram, you could consider changing your settings so that you have to approve content that you are tagged in or that will show up in your timeline to give you more control.

On Facebook, if you want to check out what other people can see, click on your name and then the three dots beside ‘Activity Log’, you can then click ‘View as’ to see what a member of the public would see or a specific person.

This is a great way to check what you are putting out there and from there you can go into settings to make any changes that might be needed.

You can also create different permissions for different people to decide who can see what.  To find out more about this, check out this Taking Charge Section about Privacy Settings.


Consider talking to the person that put them up

We know that this is not always possible or even something you would want to do, but in some cases , the person might not realise that the content is bothering you.

In some cases, especially if you do not think the person has deliberately set out to mess with you, having a conversation with them about the photos or video and the impact it is having can be effective.

Keep calm and try not to get into insults.  Let them know that you would like it taken down and that you don’t think it is funny to be included.


Talk to a friend

Get in touch with a friend who you trust.  Let them know what is happening and give them a chance to give their perspective on it.

They might be able to see it in a way that gives you an insight into what other people think when they see the photos or videos.  You might be thinking that everyone has seen it and are all laughing at you but this might not actually be the case.

Your friend might also have had a similar experience and be able to offer you advice.

Talking it through also gives you the chance to work out what you want to do about the situation and stops it from festering inside your mind.


Take a break

If you have taken some of the other steps and it is still having a negative impact on your life each time you log on, consider taking a break from your social media.

Spend some time doing things you enjoy with people that make you smile.  Give yourself some space from dwelling on the photo or video and this distance might help you make some better decisions later on.

Instagram gives you the option to ‘temporarily disable your account’ so that you can take a break without losing your photos and contacts.

How to Temporarily Disable your account on Instagram

  1. Log into instagram.com from a mobile browser or computer. You can’t temporarily disable your account from within the Instagram app.
  2. Tap or click the person icon in the top right and then select Edit Profile.
  3. Scroll down, then tap or click Temporarily disable my account in the bottom right.
  4. Select an option from the drop-down menu next to Why are you disabling your account? and re-enter your password. The option to disable your account will only appear after you’ve selected a reason from the menu.
  5. Tap or click Temporarily Disable Account.

Facebook lets you Deactivate your account so you can do the same thing and give yourself some space.

How to deactivate your account on FB
  1. Click the downward arrow at the top right of any Facebook page.
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click “Security” in the left column.
  4. Choose “Deactivate your account”, then follow the steps to confirm.


Weigh it up

It can be hard to look at something that you are upset about from a different point of view, but this is really important.

Has the person set out to deliberately humiliate you or make you feel really bad or have they done it as a  joke with no harm intended?  A good example of this is birthday posts which can be embarrassing but are not put out there to cause you hurt and stress.

Being able to weigh up what the original intention was can help you to either let it go, or do something about it.

It’s a good idea to log out and take a breath and think things through before replying to avoid saying something out of upset/anger that we’ll regret later on (or might even make things worse).