What Happens if I Report Someone to Stop Them From Sending Me Messages on Facebook?

By Carolyn Luck

Fight back by reporting unwanted Facebook messages.
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Finding unwanted messages in your Facebook inbox can leave you feeling bullied or harassed. The reporting process enables you to take steps to protect yourself. While reporting alone may not prevent all future unwanted messages, when used with the blocking feature, it can result in a more secure inbox.

Reporting Messages

When you receive unwanted messages from someone on Facebook, whether it’s a current or former friend or a random member, you can file a report with Facebook. The process is streamlined, involving only a few clicks. Your identity is protected by Facebook, which means the person who sent the message will never find out you reported him.

How to Report

Open the message in question and click the gear-shaped “Actions” icon in the upper-right corner. Select the “Report Spam or Abuse” option from the drop-down list. Use the choices in the resulting dialog box to report the message to Facebook. You can report the message as spam from a hacked friend’s account or report the message as harassing or threatening in nature. Reports are received and investigated by Facebook. Further action, such as account suspension, is taken against the person when necessary. At no point in the process is your identity revealed.

The Reporting Process

Once your report is submitted, it goes to one of four User Operations teams, depending on whether the report contains graphic material, harassment or a safety concern. Your Support Dashboard, which can be accessed on your "General Account Settings" page, enables you to keep up with the progress made on the reports you submit to Facebook. You'll receive alerts when decisions are made and actions are taken regarding your reports. If your report is determined to contain content that violates Facebook's policies, the person you reported may be issued a warning, or his account privileges may be restricted or permanently revoked. If necessary, law enforcement agencies may be notified as well.

Block List

To prevent virtually all future interaction with a Facebook member, you can add her to your block list. Blocking is the most effective way to prevent someone from sending future messages. It is mutual, deleting the connection that exists between both parties. When you block someone, she loses all access to your Facebook activity and you to hers. This means that, with the possible exception of mutual friends’ activities, neither of you will see the existence of the other’s presence on Facebook. Blocking is anonymous, which means that when you block someone, she will not receive notification of being blocked. To unblock someone, click the lock-shaped icon in the upper-right corner of any page, and select the "How Do I Stop Someone From Bothering Me?" option. Click the "View All Blocked Users" link, and select the "Unblock" option next to the name of the person you wish to unblock. You'll also need to send her a new friend request to re-establish the friendship.