January 16, 2018

Why you should report spam on social media (or at least try)

Published: 16 January 2018 

It does not matter what social media platform you use, there will always be spam on it. Many believe it is the responsibility of the social media platform to clean up spam, but we believe it needs to be a group effort to fight spam everywhere. The only way to start eliminating spam is by crowd-sourcing this problem to get rid of this scourge from our social media platforms.

Spam can be defined as irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet. On social media platforms, this can take the form of bulk messaging, spreading of malicious links, posting fraudulent reviews or feedback, sharing excessive or undesired content, or posting click baiting or lifejacking links. These activities waste users’ time and, in the worse cases, can compromise users’ security and data. How can you help rid these platforms of spam? Here’s a users guide to the most-used social networks.

If you receive an unwanted message on Facebook, open the conversation you want to report, click on the Options pinwheel in the top right, then click Report. From posts to profiles, photos to ads, nearly all content on Facebook has this similar Report function at or near the content, usually embedded in the Options menu. The Report function is the best way to notify Facebook administrators of nefarious activity and is easy to find on nearly any content.

If you would like to report a Twitter profile for spamming, first visit the spammer’s profile. Click the menu icon (Gear for iOS and Dots for Android or desktop). Select Report from the menu, then select the reason as “They are posting spam.” When reporting individual tweets, simply select the carat icon, select Report Tweet, and select the reason.

To report an Instagram post or profile as spam, tap the three-dot icon above the post or profile, tap Report, then follow the instructions to report either the profile or the post. If you would like to report a message you receive through Instagram Direct, simply open the conversation, tap and hold the individual message you’d like to report, and select Report.

By its very nature, Snapchat makes it very difficult to deal with abuse and spam. Because Snaps vanish in seconds and aren’t stored in servers, it can make it hard to make a case that someone is abusing the platform. Unlike other social media platforms, you can’t actually report posts or users from within the app but instead, have to use the Snapchat Support Site. From here, select Report a Safety Concern and then select your reason. Once done, they will recommend you block the user.

reddit makes it easy to report a profile or post by placing a link in every post. The report button, shown on all links and comments, is an anonymous way for redditors to tell community moderators that something is spam or otherwise violates reddit or community rules. You can also report spammers by submitting the offending user’s profile page to the /r/spam community.

If everyone who encountered spam accounts and posts took just the few seconds needed to report these to administrators, we would be well on our way to eliminating spam from social media platforms. As you can see from this guide, all platforms have an easy, no-hassle way to report users and content, and it is the responsibility of each user to report spam when it is seen so that we can work toward a spam-free environment soon.

Ben Maden

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