How to Appeal

Most social media platforms allow you to appeal decisions made about your content—though what you can and can't appeal may differ from company to company. This is a brief explanation of the options available to you and how decisions are made inside each company.

Facebook

1 What can users appeal?

Users can appeal posts that were removed for nudity, sexual activity, hate speech, or graphic violence. Users can also appeal removal of a profile, Page, or Group. 

In addition, users can appeal content removed under applicable trademark and copyright procedures (e.g., via DMCA counter-notifications)

2 How can users appeal?

Facebook will notify users when content violations are removed. With this notification, users will be given the option to request review, which will usually grant users a review within 24 hours. If the removal was in error, Facebook will notify the user and the content will be restored. 

Users can also request a review of a decision to remove a profile, Page, or Group. In the case of a profile removal, the account holder will be notified and they can appeal. In the case of a Group or Page removal, the admin will be notified, and they can appeal. 

With regard to trademark and copyright, when Facebook removes content in response to reports submitted via online reporting forms, Facebook will send a notification to users informing them that the content has been removed following receipt of an IP report, and will provide information about the report and reporting party. Users are also told how to contact the reporting party if they believe the content was removed in error and, where applicable, are provided information about how to contest the removal. 

3 What happens next?

Appealing removal of a piece of content, or a profile, Page, or Group, will lead to review by Facebook staff, typically within 24 hours. 

4 What can users do if their appeal is denied?

On Facebook, there is currently no recourse from denial of an appeal for removal of a piece of content, a profile, a Page, or a Group.

All information in this appeals processes was independently verified with Facebook and we will endeavor to keep it as up to date as possible. Changes may be made to these procedures over time, however, so if any information you’re given seems different from what we’ve outlined here, please check the policy page of Facebook (and let us know!)

Twitter

1 What can users appeal?

Users can appeal an account suspension or a locked and/or limited account.

Twitter may limit a Tweet’s visibility, require a user to delete a Tweet, or hide a violating Tweet while awaiting user action. Users can appeal cases where Twitter requires a Tweet to be deleted.

Twitter’s method of content moderation is relatively unique compared to other social media platforms. Twitter has a variety of mechanisms used to moderate content on the platform. For example, Twitter can use algorithms to ensure tweets reach a smaller audience, block users from tweeting, hide tweets from users in a specific country, hide user profiles, convert users into “read-only” mode, temporarily lock users out of their account until account verification, or permanently suspend accounts. 

With respect to content violations, Twitter may require the user to delete prohibited content before users can again create new posts and interact with other Twitter users, temporarily limit user ability to create posts or interact with other Twitter users, ask users to verify account ownership with a phone number or email address, or permanently suspend user accounts. 
 
Twitter can also take Tweet-level actions, as opposed to account level actions. For example, Twitter can limit tweet visibility, making content less visible on Twitter in search results, replies, and timelines. Twitter may also require tweet deletion if content has violated Twitter guidelines. In these instances, Twitter staff will require the user to delete the violating tweet before they can tweet again. An email notification is sent to the user identifying the tweet(s) in violation and clarifying which policies have been violated. The user will then need to either delete the tweet or appeal the decision. In the interim period between Twitter taking enforcement action and tweet deletion, Twitter may hide the tweet from public view.  For more information on enforcement options, please see: https://help.twitter.com/rules-and-policies/enforcement-options.

2 How can users appeal?

Users can appeal an account suspension or locked/limited account via platform interface or by filling out a support form.

In the case of Twitter requiring a Tweet to be deleted, Twitter will send the user an email notification. The user can then appeal Twitter through directions provided within the email if they believe Twitter staff made an error in judgment. 

3 What happens next?

Each appeal is reviewed by a member of the support team manually. Wherever possible, Twitter will have localized team members review culturally specific content.

4 What can users do if their appeal is denied?

In most cases users will be able to fully access their account and data even if it has been suspended—Twitter will fully disable accounts only in egregious cases of abuse. If a user would like their suspended account deactivated, they need to file a request for it to be deactivated.

All information in this appeals processes was independently verified with Twitter and we will endeavor to keep it as up to date as possible. Changes may be made to these procedures over time, however, so if any information you’re given seems different from what we’ve outlined here, please check the policy page of Twitter (and let us know!)

YouTube

1 What can users appeal?

Users can appeal strikes issued for content that allegedly violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Deleting the video for which a strike was issued will not remove the strike from the user’s account. A strike, as used by many platforms, is an abuse moderating practice used for the purpose of managing abuse reports, particularly those against repeat offenders. When a YouTube user receives three Community Guidelines strikes, YouTube will terminate the user’s YouTube accounts and remove all videos. These users can still avail themselves through the appeals process.  

2 How can users appeal?

YouTube will issue strikes when staff reviewers are notified of content that is in violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines. If a strike is issued, users will be notified via email and via an alert in the user account’s Channel Settings upon their next sign in to YouTube. In these notifications, YouTube links directly to the appeals form users can fill out if they feel we have acted in a way that is inconsistent with our policies. After the user signs into their YouTube account, they can click on the account icon in the top right corner, access “Creator Studio,” click “Channel,” then finally click “Status and features.” Users will be able to see current strikes against their account within the "Community Guidelines" section of this page. Users can then click “Appeal this decision.”

3 What happens next?

After users submit an appeal, they will receive an email from YouTube notifying the user of their appeal result. If YouTube finds that the content was removed in error, the video will be restored and the strike will be removed from the user’s account. If YouTube upholds their original decision, the content will remain deleted and the strike will remain on the user’s account. In some cases, YouTube may decide to keep the content deleted, but remove the strike from the user’s account. In some cases, YouTube may decide to restore the content, but keep the content behind an age restriction. In this case, the strike will be removed from the user account.  

4 What can users do if their appeal is denied?

Users can appeal each strike only once. If YouTube staff upholds their original decision on the strike, users will not be able to appeal other strikes on their account for a period of 60 days.

All information in this appeals processes was independently verified with YouTube and we will endeavor to keep it as up to date as possible. Changes may be made to these procedures over time, however, so if any information you’re given seems different from what we’ve outlined here, please check the policy page of YouTube (and let us know!)

 

Google+

1 What can users appeal?

Google+ allows users to submit appeals when their accounts or G+ or Community pages have been suspended or disabled for violations of its User Content and Conduct Policies

If a user posts a photo that violates policy, Google may force it to private mode. When this occurs, Google will notify the user. The decision may be appealed in most cases.

In some instances users may be notified that an abuse “strike” has been associated with their account based on content removal; accumulation of strikes may lead to the suspension of their account. Generally, they can appeal the issuance of a strike.

There is no appeals process for content or media posted on Google+.

2 How can users appeal?

Generally the user will be notified when they log in to the service, and the message they receive will indicate how the user may request a review of the action taken. This may vary somewhat based on the type of removal. The notification will appear in the default language set by the user.

If the profile is suspended because of a content violation, the user is required to first remove the violating content and then submit an appeal to have the suspension lifted by following the on-screen instructions. The appeal will be reviewed typically within a few days. 

If the profile is suspended because it is suspected of impersonating someone or something, the user should sign in to their account and follow the on-screen instructions to update their profile name before submitting an appeal. The appeal will be reviewed typically within a few days. 

3 What happens next?

Reviews are appealed on a case by case basis by Google. They explain how these assessments are made in this video.

4 What can users do if their appeal is denied?

The user can preserve and export their data through Google Takeout. Generally, they’ll have about two months to do so before their content is deleted from Google’s systems and no longer accessible. Google+ also provides a community forum on which G+ experts and users may give advice on resolving issues here

All information in this appeals processes was independently verified with Google and we will endeavor to keep it as up to date as possible. Changes may be made to these procedures over time, however, so if any information you’re given seems different from what we’ve outlined here, please check the policy page of Google (and let us know!) . 

 

Instagram

1 What can users appeal?

Instagram currently gives users the opportunity to appeal the deactivation of an account. Instagram does not currently support appeals for removal of individual pieces of content. Users can appeal content removed under applicable trademark and copyright procedures (e.g., via DMCA counter-notifications).

2 How can users appeal?

Users can appeal account deactivation decisions by opening the app, entering their username and password, and following the on-screen instructions.

In the event that content is removed for intellectual property reasons in response to reports submitted via online reporting forms, the user will receive a notification from Instagram, and the user will have the opportunity to follow up with the alleged rights owner. The user can also file a counter-notification if the content was taken down under the procedures of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Similarly, if the content was removed based on US trademark rights, users will be provided an opportunity to submit an appeal

3 What happens next?

Appealing deactivation of an account will lead to review by Instagram staff, typically within 48 hours. 

4 What can users do if their appeal is denied?

When an account is disabled on Instagram it cannot currently be accessed by the user to preserve and export their data. The user can contact support@instagram.com.

All information in this appeals processes was independently verified with Instagram and we will endeavor to keep it as up to date as possible. Changes may be made to these procedures over time, however, so if any information you’re given seems different from what we’ve outlined here, please check the policy page of Instagram (and let us know!)

Flickr

1 What can users appeal?

A representative from Flickr said they are not able to publicly comment on their internal review process, and it is unclear whether users can appeal content takedowns. However, they do promise that every report is reviewed and that they take action only on accounts that violate their community guidelines and terms of service.