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?

Facebook allows users to appeal the removal of a profile or page, but not the removal of individual posts, photos or videos.

2 How can users appeal?

In order to begin the appeals process, go to this link (will not work unless your account has been suspended).

Any message you receive will appear in the same language you use, as long as the language is supported by Facebook. Messages will default to English if Facebook doesn’t support the desired language.

The same process becomes more complicated for users who have reportedly violated Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy (or authentic identity).

Users who are notified they have violated the ‘real name’ policy will be asked to provide a form of legal or non-legal documentation including a piece of mail, magazine subscription or library card that includes their authentic name to verify their identity. US-based users have a 7-day grace period to provide the required documentation upon receiving notification of violation. Users based outside the US will be locked out of their accounts as soon as Facebook determines that they violated the ‘real name’ policy. Eventually, Facebook plans to roll out the 7-day period to everyone.

Ad blocking: Facebook allows appeals (at this link) for blocked content that doesn’t meet the site’s Advertising Guidelines.

3 What happens next?

Appeals are reviewed by Facebook’s Community Operations team on a 24/7 basis. Teams are located across the globe and are organized by language and expertise to review appeals. The Community Operations team includes language and market experts from over 40 countries supporting almost 30 different languages.

4 What can users do if their appeal is denied?

In the event an appeal to have a user’s account suspended is denied, the user will not be able to access their data.

If an account is suspended but the appeal results in the account being restored, the user can use Facebook’s self-service tool to access and download their data at any time.

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?

Twitter allows users appeal any form of action taken in upholding The Twitter Rules.

2 How can users appeal?

In most cases, guidance on how to appeal is provided within Twitter’s app itself, or in the email sent to users notifying them their content has been taken down. Generally, this information will be provided in the same language in which the content was posted, with a few exceptions for languages where the user base is very small. If an account is suspended, the appeal can be submitted through this form.


Unlike many other platforms, Twitter includes an intermediary form of content moderation by instituting media filters on content that may be more sensitive. Rather than block the content entirely, the team may label the media as being potentially sensitive, requiring users to click through to view the content. In some cases, the team may change the settings on an account requiring all media to be marked as sensitive.

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. It will fully delete a user’s account if they request it.

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?

YouTube allows for the appeal of both accounts and content for Community Guidelines violations. This now also includes videos that have been age-gated as well as videos that are removed.


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

2 How can users appeal?

Community Guidelines Violations: YouTube allows users to appeal strikes on videos for violating its community guidelines, a process it outlines on this page. Importantly, it allows users to appeal each video strike only once, and if it upholds its original decision on the strike, YouTube blocks users from appealing future strikes for a 60-day period.

 
Account terminations: Accounts may be terminated on YouTube for repeated violations of community guidelines or terms of service, for a single case of severe abuse (like predatory behavior or spam) or if the account is dedicated to a policy violation like hate speech or harassment. Appeals may be submitted here.


Age-gated videos or videos rejected for inappropriate metadata: Appeals can be submitted from the video manager page. A “!” will appear next to the video listing in Video Manager with the ability to appeal. Messaging for these violations will provide detailed instructions for this process.

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.


For more information on YouTube’s policy and safety guidelines, they provide a useful guide here.

 

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 allows users to appeal the suspension of their accounts, but not individual content. In most instances, account suspensions are due to a report from another user, which the team will review and decide whether to take action on.

2 How can users appeal?

Users will be notified if their account is shut down when they attempt to log in to their account, and will be given an email link they can use to appeal the suspension. They will be informed in the language in which the content is posted.

3 What happens next?

Appeals are sent into a queue and reviewed by a member of the global community operations team, which covers the twelve languages supported by Instagram. This process ensures that a new member of the team will assess the content and determine whether there might have been a quality issue when the account was shut down, although the same guidelines are applied.

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.