What are my options?

Screenshot them

To make sure it does not become ‘your word against theirs’, take a screenshot of the posts or comments to help you if you want to make a report.

These can keep the facts clear and avoid any confusion and can support you with any next steps.


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.


Delete or Remove them

Your page or account should be somewhere positive and if someone is messing with that, you can remove negative/hurtful posts or comments.

On Facebook, click on the three dots to the right of the comment and then it will show ‘Remove this’ click and then a box will check that you want to delete the comment.  Click Delete.

On Instagram, swipe left on the comment.  Choose the final icon, the bin on red background, tap it and the comment will be deleted (tap again to undo).

On Snapchat, any comments get sent to you through chat so you can delete them from there, they are not posted publicly like other platforms.


Use the reporting tools and Block the Sender

There are a wide range of reporting tools that you can use to ask for comments or posts to be taken down or to Block the Sender so they cannot see or comment on what you post.

The content does need to breach the standards of the platform and sometimes, hurting your feelings or being mean 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 posts or comments on the different platforms.


Lock down your accounts

Take a look at your privacy settings and lock down who can send you messages and see your posts.  That way, you can have more control over what you receive and who can get in touch with you.

If things have got nasty with one person, often they will get their friends involved too so using the privacy settings can help stop you having to deal with this too.

Check out the TAKING CHARGE section for how to do that through the different Social Media and Messaging sites


Consider talking to the person who made the comment

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.