Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips]

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Facebook isn’t a safe haven. A recent study by GMI revealed that one in ten Facebook users have experienced some form of abuse. Among 18 – 24 year olds, one in four were affected. Offenders use their victims’ walls or private messages to post insults, threats, or other abusive messages.

In the real world it can be tough to avoid bullies or even prove what they have done. In Facebook, however, you have effective tools to deal with people who deliberately abuse you. And the good news is that all of your options are straight forward and simple.

Calmly Address The Offender

If you belong to the majority of victims that know their offender in real life (62%), you should probably respond to them. This obviously depends on the individual case, but sending a clear and mature message can do wonders or at least gain you a lot of respect.

When you speak with the offender, try to be friendly or professional. Fighting back with insults and threats will only bring you down to their low level. Instead, be mature and calmly ask the bully to stop. Only 14% of study participants had the guts to do that. Are you courageous enough to be one of them?

Report The Offense To Facebook

You can report offending wall posts to Facebook via the little ribbon menu in the top right of the respective post. Click the arrow head and select Report Story or Spam from the menu.

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Next you will see a confirmation that the story was marked as spam. Click the file a report link and go through the following query to get Facebook’s attention.

If you received chat or private messages, you can essentially do the same. Go to the respective message and select Report Spam or Abuse… from the Actions menu.

In the following window, you can make one of three selections: mark the conversation as spam, report messages from a hacked friend, or report the sender as harassing or threatening you.

Unfriend The Offender

There is no good reason to remain friends with someone who is being mean to you.

Once you have marked a wall post from a friend as spam, Facebook will show you an unfriend button. Click it to remove that person from your friends list.

In private messages and anywhere else you can hover over the offender’s name and wait until a preview of their profile pops up. Hover over Friends until a menu opens, then select Unfriend from the bottom of the list.

Block The Offender

Unfriending might not be enough, especially if you don’t want to completely lock up your profile. Fortunately, you can selectively block individual Facebook users.

Go to Privacy Settings and switch to Blocking in the left-hand-menu. Under Block users, enter the name or email address of the offender and click Block.

Adjust Your Facebook Privacy Settings

Now that you have dealt with the bully, it’s time to look at your Facebook settings. If you fall into the group of people whose culprit wasn’t even on their Facebook friends list (27% in the GMI study), you should check the doors. Are they wide open for more people to find and harrass you on Facebook?

Here is what you can do:

  • allow only friends to find your profile
  • let only friends see your personal information on Facebook
  • organize your friends in lists and share updates selectively
  • accept Facebook messages from friends only
  • lock your wall or let only friends post on it

I have summarized all of the above and more in this article on Critical Facebook Privacy Tips. Facebook has since released a new Privacy Menu and you can find a complete guide to the new Facebook privacy settings here.

Leave Facebook – Close Your Account – Open a New Account

This is a last resort. However, if you seriously want to close your Facebook account due to negative experiences, find detailed instructions on how to permanently delete your Facebook account here. However, don’t let a mean person sever your ties to family and friends on Facebook. You can always open a new account and start fresh.


Ralph Risk, GMI Marketing Director Europe, says:

In the virtual world of social media people may feel it is easy and anonymous to send insulting or abusive messages to other users. Our research shows that most people on Facebook are currently able to tackle the problem themselves using the technology provided. The strength of social media has always been the opportunity to easily connect and interact with friends and groups, but to ensure its continued flexibility is not restricted by legislation, it is important that the ability to limit exposure to insulting and abusive messages is simple for users to control themselves.

Have you been bullied on Facebook and how did you or would you react?

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24 Comments - Write a Comment


Daniel Eluvathingal

thanks for this helpful info and article. i am already sharing it to my friends who face these problems. continue ur great work.


Tom Six

Great piece, I think we can all benefit from this.

Chris Marcoe

The bad part is…the people on here mostly know these kinds of things. We really don’t need this help, for the most part.

Those that do (Teens in the popularity rut) are the ones who would benefit from this the most. Though, anyone can fall into this.

Tina Sieber

My hope is that someone searching for help after having been bullied on Facebook will find this article and some good advice in it.

Chris Marcoe

I’ll be putting this up on my Facebook wall. Great info. If teens (who I think are the ones who need this the most) would just learn to UNFRIEND the bully, life would be so much simpler and stress-free for them.

Tom Six

I’ll be sharing this and other articles too :)

Tina Sieber

Thank you, Chris!


Scott M

I feel very sorry that young people have become involved in a situation where facebook overtakes their lives and hurt feelings and bullying occur,I hope that many will read this and it will provide some help tot hem.


suneo nobi

Facebook should be used for creative and socialising purposes;not to bully others……………….

Tina Sieber

The entire life should be like that, not just Facebook. But bad things happen everywhere, Facebook is no exception.

suneo nobi

very correct!!



I just don’t get how one can be abused on FB. Young people, i.e., those less than 12 years may be daft, but anyone older than that shouldn’t be. After all, regardless of age, we all take care to safeguard our bank PINs or Health Card or Social Security numbers, why then do we treat any other info about ourselves so irresponsibly?

Aren’t you friends with the people you invite into your world?

Don’t you secure your account properly by setting the “proper” privacy and security settings?

Don’t you create a fake account for certain of your dealings?

Or am I “the only one” taking these precautions?

Tina Sieber

Did you never fight with a friend? Did you never get disappointed or deceived by a person? Did you never make a mistake and end up paying for it?

Life is like that. Facebook is no different. Unfortunately, our brains don’t come pre-installed with all the right behaviors, let go all the answers. You learn as you go and you learn to ask the right questions.

Maybe you came to Facebook with more knowledge or life experience. It may have led you to be more careful and less naive. But not everyone is like you and actually that is a good thing. The world would be a boring place if we were all perfect clones. ;)


Sarah Jackson

Hello admin recently someone hacked my 6 big pages … now he shared spam and abuse post … all my friends and family friends sad from me coz they think that I’m sharing that post … I’m really hurt … i try to contact facebook by thier emails … but no response what to do? please help :(
[email removed] Thanks alot

Tina Sieber


Wow, that sounds terrible! Facebook is notorious for not offering good personalized support in emergencies like this. You really have to go through all the automated solutions they offer first and hope they will eventually help you. Sorry!

Maybe this post can help you:
4 Things To Do Immediately When Your Facebook Account Is Hacked



Problem with reporting stuff to Farcebook (ok, Facebook) is that they rarely take action. Any abuse has to be spelled out in language that a 5 year old would understand before Facebook will do anything.

Tina Sieber

From what I hear that seems to be true. Facebook has an amazing help directory, and a great system in theory, but in reality their support sucks. I bet the team is hopelessly understaffed.


Kamruzzaman Chowdhury

Very informative and helpful piece of writing. Thanks Tina for sharing with us such a beautiful post.



These tips are mere common sense, which sadly a lot of people these days lack in abundance.

Dysfunctional people tend to attract other dysfunctional people and being that they are all dysfunctional no amount of common sense tips are going to help them. Especially when they rate their self value on how many Facebook friends they have.

They don’t need tips, they need counseling.

Tina Sieber

Or they are just kids who don’t know better because no one taught them. They are not dysfunctional or incapable, they are just naive and maybe insecure. Their way to get help might be to search Google. In that case they will hopefully find this article. :)


Karen L. Grube

Someone created a “page” using my name and my profile photograph and began posting offensive remarks on other pages and in other groups where I commonly post. Because it is a “page” and not a fake account, I can’t report it as imitating me. There is no option in the Report drop-down for that. I have reported it as abuse at least half a dozen times now, and the page is still up, so this person could imitate me all over Facebook if they wanted. I did report the use of my photo as a copyright violation, so I think the photo is gone now. Still, I have been over and over the reporting options, and there just isn’t a way to say “This page is imitating me and posting with my name.” I’m wondering if you have any better suggestions as to how to get them to remove this stupid offensive page..

Tina Sieber

Unfortunately, I don’t have any other ideas, Karen. Keep reporting the page through all the channels you can get a hold of and someone may eventually take notice. Until they introduce a better system, that’s all you can hope for.



This is BS!! Facebook will do nothing. They should have rules for this and actually do something to the person doing the harassing. People are making fake fb accounts and using them to harass people and fb does NOTHING…NOTTA……



“Unfriend the offender”
Well thanks for that absolute GEM of help there.

What actually needs to happen is for Facebook to take responsibility for the harrassment, death threats, and other vile behaviour that happen through its media and provide proper contacts, and a quick way to take down offending posts and shares.
But that might cut into their billions of profit, eh!

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