How to Notify Facebook About Criminal Activity in a Facebook Account
By David Weedmark
If you notice signs of criminal activity or suspect someone of suspicious or criminal behaviour, Facebook strongly encourages you to report it. Facebook provides links near every post, photo and video for reporting the material. If you can no longer find the material because you have been blocked or if you don't have a Facebook account, Facebook provides a form you can use. Facebook works regularly with local law enforcement on these reports. You may sometimes be asked to provide your contact information; however, all reports are treated anonymously and Facebook may not always contact you about the matter.
Notifying Facebook From Your Account
Locate the material you want to report. There is a way to report almost every item you see on Facebook, but the link's appearance and location varies. On posts in your news feed, on a Timeline, Group or Page, click the "Arrow" or "Gear" button located in the upper right corner of the post. To report a message containing information about criminal activity, click the "Actions" button at the top of the list of messages. If the item is a photo or video, click the "Options" link below the image. In every case a drop down menu appears.
Select the option with the word "Report" in it. Depending on what the material is, the option may be "Report Story or Spam" or "Report/Mark as Spam." In the case of photos and videos, it's simply "Report." If you selected the "Report/Mark as Spam" option on a Page post, the post is immediately removed and a second "Report" link appears. Click this "Report" link to continue reporting it. In all cases, a dialog box opens with additional options.
Select the most appropriate option for the activity you want to report. Choices include harassment or threats in messages, pornographic or violent material, as well as cases of copyright infringement.
Follow any links provided after submitting the report. For example, you may be directed to the Facebook Family Center, which includes information for teachers, parents and teens using Facebook and other resources.
Notifying Facebook If You Don't Have an Account
Go to Facebook's Report a Violation of the Facebook Terms page (see Resources for link) if you don't have a Facebook account or if you have been blocked from seeing the posts illustrating criminal activity.
Follow the online prompts to report the criminal activity. If you are unable to see the content you are reporting, Facebook suggests asking a friend with an account to help you to find it.
Provide Facebook with the requested information, including the page URL, as well as the date and time it was posted. You may also need to provide Facebook with your contact information to submit the report.
Reporting Convicted Sex Offenders
Go directly to Facebook's How Can I Report a Convicted Sex Offender? page if you suspect a convicted sex offender is using Facebook. At minimum, this is a violation of Facebook's terms and the offender's account will be disabled.
Read the instructions explaining the information Facebook needs to act on your complaint, such as links to news items or court documents indicating the person is a convicted sex offender.
Click the "Report" link on the page and enter the requested information. If you are unable to provide evidence, Facebook suggests you contact local law enforcement authorities to help you.
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.