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Online Hate Crime: Cyber Safe Advice

Hate crime covers offences and sentences that are aggravated by reason of the victim's race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Online Hate Crime

Hate Crime is any criminal offence committed against a person that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone because of:

  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Gender identity
  • Individual Characteristics that make someone appear different e.g. alternative subculture, physical appearance, style of dress.

Hate crimes can include:

  • threatening behaviour
  • hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
  • online abuse, for example on social media or email
  • displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
  • inciting others to commit hate crimes
  • harassment



Screenshot any evidence of abuse or hate online; and keep a log of any messages. 


Block the offending users/accounts on the sites you are on after you have screenshotted the evidence. The Internet Matters guides show you how to block across a variety of sites and devices. 


I: Report It To The Site Itself

Most websites have rules known as ‘acceptable use policies’ that set out what cannot be put on their website.

Most do not allow comments, videos and photos that offend or hurt people.

Look out for the website’s ‘contact us’ page, which should be clearly linked. Others will have a ‘report this page’, or ‘report this post’ button that you can click.

Information on how to report via Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram (click to enlarge):

For the full social media guides, click for: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram guides. 

II: Report It To The Host Website

If the website itself is hateful, abusive, or supports violence then let the website’s hosting company know.

You can find out which company hosts a website by entering their web address on the ‘Who is hosting this?’ website.

You can also contact your own internet service provider to get more information.

III: Report Illegal Internet Material To The Police

In an emergency dial 999. If you are concerned, call 101. 

If a website or online material you have seen online matches the description of illegal content above and you think it originates in the UK (e.g. you know who the user is, or the site has a address), you should report it to the police.

Use the screenshots and logs collected as evidence. 

You can report online (and offline) hate to Warwickshire Police or local organisation EQuIP, via Report Hate Now