Sunday, March 5, 2017

Social Media Report Button Has No Effect

By Scott

I have been on social media and have personally seen harmful content on my timeline, and I reported, hoping to get rid of it. The content wasn’t about me, but it was directed towards a group of people and was very harmful. After I reported it, I felt good and hopeful about the outcome hoping that nobody was hurt. I was with my friends and the post was still on their timeline which wasn't very motivating. We all reported it, but everyone I talked to about had already seen it, my feeling of accomplishment went away and I felt awful for the people it targeted too. The harm that post made is unmeasurable and could have made tons of damage to the innocent users on social media.

Social media apps need to step up the repercussions of people when they get reported by the “report” button. This is for app developers and teens to learn about how serious trolling is. Every day somebody will get reported on social media but few if any consequences will follow, so why is that?  When someone gets reported on Instagram nothing happens to them unless five other people block them, and even then, if it the account does not break Instagram rules nothing will happen. People have tried to simulate this before and test Instagram, but they found nothing happened to them once five people blocked them.

Although Instagram has the capability to delete your account they rarely ever do. Instagram has over 600,000,000 active users and everyday people can  see or are be apart of cyberbullying. Twitter says that after a user gets reported they will review the account and determine what to do, they have the power to permanently suspend the user, but it doesn't say anything about any legal action. The other social media sites are all similar in that they can stop the user, but there will be no interaction with law enforcement.

The internet, specifically social media, is a safe haven for trolls because little repercussions will follow. To cyberbullies a deleted or suspended account is no big deal; they can just create a new one. The social media report button is more for making yourself happy, by removing the content off of your timeline. The odds of a cyberbully getting in trouble on social media is very slim because they have to be reported by five people and go against social media rules which are very vague.

I think a simple and effective solution to this problem is to make the report button more powerful so that there is less cyberbullying on social media. Although this seems like an easy task, it is difficult because you give lots of power to the users now. There would have to be a set of questions with reasons why they are reporting someone or else everyone would get reported. There also should be a department of evaluators that look through the reports and reasons, each social media company should have their own department. If a cyberbully was actually causing harm to someone and was reported, then their account should be deleted and other actions following in correlation of how bad the offense was. Social media is so big that in order for it to be screened and free of cyberbullies there needs to be more power to the users, so they can take some of the load off of the companies.

Cyber bullying is a huge part of our society today and with new technology created there needs to be new ways of keeping users on it safe. Companies have made new software for the users to enjoy and view the internet differently, yet the internet has turned its back on making new technology to patrol the internet. In order for social media to be safer the report button needs more power so the people that are on it everyday are a part of keeping it safe, like they want.  

Erickson Da Silva, a professional Instagram account manager says ,”Nothing happens if 5 people block you and report you if you're not doing anything against Instagram rules, I've tried this and did the experiment myself with my friends accounts... I haven't found the limits for this blocks/reports so something actually happens.”  This is terrifying news and very sad to hear as a Instagram user because a toll that you use and depend on to keep Instagram harmless is useless. The fact that people have tried to have their account deleted by having it reported and nothing happens is an awful.  They might as well have no button if it does nothing, Instagram or any other social media account could use their users to clean and patrol their sites for them. Social media corporations could make a survey and deploy it to its friendly users so and if they pass they can be apart of instagram and make it a better place to be. Social media is a wonderful tool when it is used correctly and is a great way to stay connected with everyone, everybody should be allowed on it and be safe on it.

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