How to Report a Crime on Facebook
By John Arkontaky
Facebook might be great for staying in touch with friends and family, but one of the biggest and unforeseen benefits of this social network surfaced as law enforcement agencies starting using Facebook to make arrests. Police agencies monitor Facebook and other social networks for criminal activities, and they often scan the network for tips that will help facilitate an arrest.
Anonymous Tip App
Facebook has an app built within the social network that allows you to submit anonymous tips of criminal activity. Tips remain confidential and encrypted, so your information can not be attached to the claim -- giving you a secure platform to report activity. The app creates a user ID for you from which you can follow-up on your tip or collect a reward.
Law Enforcement Pages
Often, law enforcement agencies allow civilians to report crimes and tips by sending private messages on their respective Facebook page. Some of these Facebook pages even include a dedicated tab on the page for reporting tips. Also, you can increase community awareness by posting to local crime reporting Facebook pages.
Facebook's Internal Reporting
Not all crimes happen on the streets. To report abusive behavior such as harassment, fraud or other activity, Facebook allows you to flag any message or photo from anybody's Facebook page as spam, an invasion of privacy or inappropriate. To flag content, Facebook encourages you to use the Report link next to the respective content.
Criminals themselves often look for victims online. Be careful when using Facebook to report crimes, especially if the persons accused know who you are. When possible, report anonymous tips unless you can send a private message directly to law enforcement.
John Arkontaky's first writing assignments came out of covering local news for the "White Plains Times" in 2006. Since then, he has worked as a staff editor for "Electronic Design" magazine and as a writer and editor for various clients. Arkontaky holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and communications (journalism concentration) from the State University of New York, Cortland.