Harmful online content: how to report it and where to get help

Published: 26 October 2023

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by illegal, harmful or upsetting content online, please contact a support service to find information and get help.

You can seek further support or advice from any of these organisations.

  • Report Harmful Content for most types of harmful content.
  • Report terrorism for terrorism content and Counter Terrorism Policing for suspicious activity.
  • Internet Watch Foundation for content that shows the sexual abuse of children. You can report anonymously and confidentially to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The IWF works with platforms worldwide to arrange for child sexual abuse content to be removed.
  • Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be reported to Police via 101.
  • True Vision for reporting hate crimes.
  • The Child Exploitation Online Protection (CEOP) Command if you are a child worried about being exploited, abused or groomed online.
  • The NSPCC for any other concerns for the safety and wellbeing of a child in the UK.

It should also be possible for you to report the content directly to the service. Information about how to do this should be on the service’s app or website.

Ofcom cannot respond to or investigate individual complaints, but we use complaints to assess whether companies are doing enough to protect their users.

Call 999 in life-threatening emergencies

You should call the police when a crime is in progress, or when someone is in immediate danger.

Personal support services

If you or someone you know is thinking about taking their own life or self-harming, it is important to talk to someone. You can speak to your GP or a trusted adult, such as a teacher or support worker.

Help and support is also available from the following organisations:

  • Samaritans (for everyone)
    Phone: 116 123 (free 24/7 helpline)
  • Childline (for children and young people under 19)
    Phone: 0800 1111 (9am – 3:30am)
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
    Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight every day)
  • Papyrus (for people under 35)
    Phone: 0800 068 41 41 (9am to midnight every day)
  • SOS Silence of Suicide (for everyone)
    Phone: 0300 1020 505 (8am to midnight every day)
  • SHOUT (for everyone)
    Text: text ‘Shout’ to 85258 (free support 24/7)

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