Sextortion has become far more common these days, and social media platforms like Facebook are becoming the stomping grounds where these cybercriminals target unsuspecting victims. This blog discusses what you can expect from a crime like this and how to report sextortion on Facebook if you ever fall victim.
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Feature of Sextortion on Facebook
So many cases of sextortion have been publicized due to the alarming rate of teens being targeted for sextortion and resulting in suicide. Facebook, now known as Meta, has been aware of the situation and has taken action to help in preventing the crime from continuing.
Meta made a public statement after the suicide of Gavin Guffey, a seventeen-year-old student from Rock Hill, South Carolina. Gavin initially met someone through Instagram (a platform owned by Meta) and was manipulated into sharing explicit images of himself.
Quickly after the exchange, the sextortionist threatened to expose his images online to family and friends if he didn’t pay a ransom. Gavin took his life only an hour and a half after receiving threats.
A Meta spokesperson spoke with ABC News and stated, “We want teens to have a safe experience on our apps, and we’ve built technology and tools to help protect our users from criminals and scammers of this kind. We encourage teens and adults to report suspicious or harmful content, activity, or accounts in our apps if they feel unsafe, and we take action and will reach out to law enforcement in cases of imminent harm.
Teens can also use NCMEC’s Take It Down, a new tool we supported that helps prevent young people’s intimate images from being posted online in the future.” Meta’s Safety Center provides users with tips on how to avoid bullying, harassment, and sextortion and provides teens, parents, and educators with prevention resources.
Example of Facebook Sextortion
Facebook sextortion typically starts with sextortionists creating catfish Facebook accounts consisting of photos of attractive women or men. They will reach out to dozens of unsuspecting victims and try to spark conversation. Once a connection is established, they will try to manipulate their victims into exchanging explicit content with the promise of sending content first.
These criminals will steal nude online content and claim it as their own. Once victims receive that content, they typically feel safe enough to share some of their own. This is when the sextortionists secretly record or screenshot their content and then bombard them with threatening messages claiming exposure if their ransom is unpaid.
How Do I Report a Sextortion on Facebook
Step 1. Save all Evidence:
Collecting all the evidence you can is essential if you have been sextorted or a friend has shared a suspicious message or post. This includes screenshots of messages, videos, profiles, and any other related material. Having evidence will help the authorities investigate the case.
Step 2. Report to Facebook:
The first step to take after collecting evidence is to report the issue directly to Facebook. Facebook has guidelines for reporting inappropriate behavior, including sextortion, and their community standards will guide you. Once logged in, you can find the “report” option in the post or message.
Step 3. Contact Law Enforcement:
Online sextortion is a serious crime that requires immediate action. Therefore, it is essential to contact the authorities immediately. You can lodge a police complaint, an FBI crime tip, National Crime Victim Hotline, or your country’s local police. Law enforcement authorities will conduct a thorough investigation and prosecute the offender.
Step 4. Protect Yourself:
Being a victim of sextortion can be a severe trauma. Therefore, it is essential to take steps to protect yourself. Firstly, you should seek medical attention if required. It would help if you also talked to a trusted friend or a professional counselor who can help you cope with the trauma. Consider changing your social media profile, email, and phone numbers. Limit the information you share online, and be careful about who you talk to.
Step 5. Spread Awareness:
Sextortion is a global concern, and it is essential to raise awareness about it. Share your experience with people you know, participate in online campaigns and support groups. The more people are informed about this issue; the better society can take steps to prevent it.
In Facebook’s reporting options, sextortion isn’t one of the options to report specifically. However, you are able to report an account or messages that are threatening.
Where is the best place to report a sextortion?
In conclusion, sextortion is a destructive crime that can scar individuals’ lives indefinitely. Facebook provides users with options to report such incidents, and it is essential to take advantage of it. There are various ways to protect oneself from these crimes, such as saving the evidence, contacting law enforcement, and taking steps to protect oneself.
It is crucial to spread awareness about sextortion among people, and we all can contribute to preventing these crimes by being alert, cautious, and aware. By reporting inappropriate behavior to Facebook and law enforcement, we can take the first step in curbing this crime and protect individuals from its long-term impact. Remember that nobody deserves to be a victim of sextortion, and there are ways to get help. You may also seek some professional help from the experts. For example, find sextortion helpline and contact the experts