Where online content is inappropriate, and the person or people responsible for posting is known, the quickest way to get material taken down is likely to be ensure the person who posted it understands why the material is unacceptable and to request that they remove it.
If the person responsible has not been identified, or will not take material down, the school leadership team member will need to contact the host (for example, the social networking site) to make a report to get the content taken down. The material posted may breach the service providers terms and conditions of use and can then be removed.
In cases where the victim’s personal identity has been compromised – for example, where a site or an online identity alleging to belong to the victim is being used, the victim will need to establish their identity and lodge a complaint directly with the service providers. Some services will not accept complaints lodged by a third party. In cases of a mobile phone abuse, for example, where the person being bullied is receiving malicious calls or messages, the account holder will need to contact their provider directly.
Before a school or individual contacts a service provider, it is important to be clear about where the content is – for example by taking a screen capture of the material that includes the URL or web address. If you are requesting they take down material that is not illegal, be clear how it contravenes the sites terms and conditions.
In case of actual/suspected illegal content, the schools designated representative should contact the police. The police will be able to determine what content is needed for evidential purposes.
All UK mobile phone operators have nuisance call centres set up and/or procedures in place to deal with such instances. They may be able to change the number of the person being bullied. Mobile operators cannot bar a particular number from contacting a phone, but some phone handsets do have the capacity. Action can be taken against the bully’s phone account (e.g blocking their account) only with police involvement.
02: firstname.lastname@example.org or 08705214000
Vodafone: 191 from a Vodafone phone or 08700700191 for Pay Monthly customers and 08700776655 for Pay as you Go.
3: Call 333 from a 3 phone or 08707330333
Orange: Call 450 on an Orange phone or 07973100450 for Pay as you Go or 150 or 07973100150 for Pay Monthly.
T-Mobile: Call150 on a T Mobile phone or 08454125000
Social Networking Sites (e.g Bebo, Facebook, MySpace)
Contacts of some social network providers:
Bebo: Reports can be made by clicking on a @Report Abuse@ link located below the user’s profile photo (top left hand corner of the screen) on every Bebo profile page. Bebo users can also report specific media content (i.e photos, videos, widgets) to the Bebo customer service team by clicking on a ‘Report Abuse’ link located below the content they wish to report.
Facebook: Reports can be made by clicking on the ‘Report’ link located on pages throughout the site, or by email to email@example.com www.facebook.com/safety.
MySpace: Reports can be made by clicking on the ‘Contact MySpace’ link at the bottom of every MySpace page and selecting the ‘Report Abuse’ option. Alternatively, click the ‘Report Abuse’ link located at the bottom of each user profile page and other generated pages. Inappropriate images can be reported by clicking on the image and selecting the ‘Report this image’ option. Additionally school staff may email MySpace directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Video and photo hosting sites
YouTube: Logged in YouTube members can report inappropriate content by using the ‘flag content as inappropriate’ function which appears under every video.
Flickr: Reports can be made via the ‘Report Abuse’ link which appears at the bottom of each page. Logged in members can use the ‘flag this photo’ link to report individual pictures.
It is good practice for Instant Messenger (IM) providers to have visible and easy-to-access reporting features on their service. Instant Messenger providers can investigate and shut down any accounts that have been misused and clearly break their terms of service. The best evidence for the service provider is archived or recorded conversations, and most IM providers allow the user to record all messages.
Contacts of some IM providers:
MSN: When in Windows Live Messenger, clicking the ’Help’ tab will bring up a range of options, including ‘Report Abuse’.
Yahoo!:When in Yahoo! Messenger, clicking the ‘Help’ tab will bring up a range of options, including ‘Report Abuse’.
Chatrooms, individual website owners/forums, message board hosts