Hate Severity Report Option

Allow users to report severity level of impact.

How does this mitigate hate?

When users report hateful or harassing content, it can be difficult for platforms to determine which reports to prioritize as more urgent to address, especially in the case where online harassment could be making its way off of the platform as physical harassment.

Providing users the ability to express the severity of their experience can help users feel that their experience has been thoroughly recognized and reported. Reporting severity characteristics also provides valuable data for platforms to better prioritize and protect users that are at higher risk of further harassment.


When to use it

Platforms that experience hateful content targeting individuals should include this pattern in the reporting process to allow users to more specifically report their experience.

Including this pattern before the issue arises could help to mitigate hateful content before it spreads.

How does it work?

The options should include specific descriptors of the type of actions that are being reported (e.g. is this part of a pattern of targeted behavior, do they feel a threat to their physical safety, etc.).

There should also be an option for bystanders or allies to report.


Helping users feel like they have been thoroughly recognized and reported can increase trust with users so they can become lasting users of the platform.

This reporting option can also provide platforms with valuable data for prioritizing the protection of users that are at risk, helping platforms reduce the impact of harassers on the platform.


This reporting option could be misused by hateful groups to flood the higher priority reports with content that isn’t hateful, making this pattern less effective in determining which reports to address first. However, hate severity options could be written and sorted in a way that makes it difficult for hateful groups to determine which ones are highest priority.


Twitter’s reporting process, providing options to explain how the Tweet was abusive or harmful.

(Screenshot taken May 2021)


ADL. “Online Hate and Harassment Report: The American Experience 2020.” Anti-Defamation League, 2020. https://www.adl.org/online-hate-2020.