Social Networks Tech & society

How to report Facebook photos that promote hate

We’ve all encountered it: the Facebook post that spews hate.

Next time, report it. And tell your friends you have reported it. Some of them will do so, too, and some of their friends, and — despite its initial refusal to act — Facebook just might take action. Some friends and I just succeeded in helping get a photo pulled that was hate speech directed at Muslims.

The photo must violate Facebook community standards. These are the two most applicable to hate speech:

Hate Speech
[W]e do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

Violence and Threats
You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence…We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to report a Facebook photo for violating the community standard on hate speech:

1. Find the Report Photo link.

Facebook - report link
The link to Report Photo is at the lower right when you are looking at a standalone image.
Facebook - report link
Otherwise, tap Options and select Report Photo

2. Select the third option when asked to Why don’t you want to see this photo?

Report Facebook photo
To answer Why don’t you want to see this photo, select the third option.

3. Again select the third option for What’s wrong with this photo?

Report Facebook photo
Select This insults or humiliates me or someone else.

4. Submit for review.

Report Facebook photo
Submit to Facebook for review.

5. Your confirmation.

Report Facebook photo
Confirmation screen.

Facebook keeps track of your flagged posts in your Support Dashboard:

Facebook support dashboard
Log in to settings; the Support Dashboard link is near the bottom, on the left.
Facebook support dashboard
You’ll find the auto-response in your Support Dashboard.

Don’t be surprised if they take no action:

Facebook report photo
Facebook often declines to act on complaints.

But sometimes they do:

Facebook report photo
But sometimes Facebook will remove a photo.

Silence versus action

Granted, reporting a photo or post for hate speech is not as easy as clicking the Like button.

Nevertheless, it is pretty straightforward (if someone has already told you the path to getting Facebook’s attention).

Why should we act, rather that remain silent?

For an answer, I’ll turn to the words of philosophers long dead:

When a person has the ability to protest and remains silent, his silence is similar to verbal consent. When you do not say something to disagree, it is as if you agree with what was said or done.
~ The medieval commentator Sforno


Qui tacet consentire videtur.
Qui ne dit mot consent.
(He who is silent is understood to consent.)

Finally, in this clash between Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) and Henry VIII (Robert Shaw), More says (A Man For All Seasons, 1966, Academy Award for best picture):

The maxim is ‘Qui tacet consentire’; the maxim of the law is ‘Silence gives consent’. If, therefore, you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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