Even if your social media threats are more of a whimper or annoyance than an internet stranger war, there is still a way to prevent pictures of your home (and ideally your address) from standing around on Facebook.
According to New York Times columnist Ben Smith, the solution is as simple as reporting posts (including written words and / or pictures, if I interpret Facebook’s rules correctly) that include your address. How he writes::
If the article shows your home or apartment, says what city you are in and you don’t like it, you can complain on Facebook. Facebook then makes sure that no one can share the article on its huge platform and, as a bonus, blocks you from sending it to anyone on Facebook Messenger.
The policy sounds insane because it could involve dozens, if not hundreds, of news articles on a daily basis – in fact, a staple for generations of coverage of the Michael Bloomberg expansion of his townhouse in 2009 and the comings and goings of the Hamptons. Belong to elites. Alex Rodriguez doesn’t like a story that includes a photo of him and his ex-fiancé Jennifer Lopez smiling in front of his house? Delete it. Donald Trump resented a story that included a photo of him outside his suite in Mar-a-Lago? Path. Facebook’s hands, the lawyer told me, are bound by its own guidelines.
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Of course, the actual rules by which Facebook determines whether or not to take action to identify content are a little more nuanced. But first, here is Facebook’s general stance on actions taken against content that is contrary to the company Community standards (as found in Section II.11):
We remove content that discloses, offers or solicits personal data or other private information that could result in physical or financial harm, including financial, personal and medical information, and private information obtained from illegal sources.
Facebook has a lot of criteria for content that is considered “personally identifiable”. However, if we are only talking about where you live, then the following section applies:
Images showing the exterior of private houses when all of the following conditions are met:
- The residence is a single-family house, or the unit number of the resident is given in the picture / in the caption
- The city / neighborhood or GPS pins (e.g. a pin from Google Maps) are identified
- The content identifies the residents.
- The same resident objects to the disclosure of his private residence or there is a context to organize protests against the resident (this does not include embassies that also serve as a residence).
Once you are clear, all you have to do is use the “Find Support or Report a Post” option via the standard three-dot icon in the top right corner of a Facebook post. Indicate that the content violates Facebook community standards, file your case, and see if Facebook takes action. If possible, refer to the specific section of Facebook Community Standards that a post violates.