In an age where social media can be an enormous and effective tool for sexual assailants, it’s important to know what our options are. I am relatively disappointed in the lack of effort Facebook and Instagram make in letting the public know about their policies, however at least they exist. From what I can tell, Twitter has no regulation regarding the use of their platform by sex offenders.
Reporting a sex offender on Facebook is actually relatively easy. Now that they own Instagram, I assume it is fairly simple there as well. I have experience using Facebook’s feature, and the person I reported was removed a day later. This was a few years back, but a friend of mine just used the same method to report another person, and their account was deleted 2 days later. It’s very much still in effect. Here’s the catch though, and although I understand it, it’s a bit unfortunate. The person you are reporting has to be convicted. This unfortunately doesn’t do much for people who have chosen not to report, can’t report, or for people whose case was thrown out or overlooked.
Sexual offenders have no place on social media, in my opinion. Here’s what you need to do.
1) Visit Facebook’s reporting center.
2) Provide your email address, the full name of the person you’re reporting, the URL of the profile you are reporting, and the state, province, or county the the person was convicted in.
3) Submit your documentation using either the direct link of either that person’s listing on a national or state sex offender registry, a link to court documents, or a link to a relevant news story. Third party sources won’t be accepted.
Instagram’s reporting page looks quite similar, with the option of also uploading documentation, which Facebook doesn’t seem to offer.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this, and most don’t know about it. Let’s make it more common knowledge, shall we?