Northern Ireland news

New tool helps young people remove nude images shared online

The Report Remove tool can be used by any young person under 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that has appeared online and get it removed
Chloe Murray

A tool that helps young people get nude photos or videos removed from the internet has been launched by the NSPCC’s Childline service and the Internet Watch Foundation. 

The Report Remove tool can be used by any young person under 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that has appeared online. It can be found on the Childline website and guides a young person through a series of steps that allow them to report the matter to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) which will work to get the picture or video removed from the internet.

Young people will receive the same level of confidentiality during this process that they would from all their interactions with Childline and they do not need to provide their real name.  The tool has also been developed in collaboration with law enforcement to make sure that children will not be unnecessarily visited by police when they make a report. 

IWF said reports of self-generated sexual images have more than doubled from January to April this year compared to the same period last year, increasing from 17,500 to 38,000. 

The circumstances in which a young person may share a sexual photograph or video they have taken themselves can vary, according to the NSPCC.  

Some may have sent an image to a boyfriend or girlfriend which has subsequently been shared without their consent while others may have been groomed online or blackmailed into sharing the images.

Childline said a 14-year-old girl who contacted the charity said an unknown Instagram account had been posting nude images of hers and threatened to follow her friends online.  

“It all started after I shared naked pics with someone who I thought was a friend but it turned out to be a fake account. I just feel so hopeless and I don’t know how to make it stop,” she told Childline.

IWF Chief Executive Susie Hargreaves said the Report Remove tool gave control back to young people.

 “When images of children and young people are taken and spread around the internet, they lose control. This is about giving them that control back. 

“This tool is a world first. It will give young people the power, and the confidence, to reclaim these images and make sure they do not fall into the wrong hands online.” 

Cormac Nolan, Service Head of Childline Online, said the experience of having their nude image shared on the internet can leave young people "feeling extremely worried and unsure on what to do or who to turn to for support". 

“At Childline we also want to remind all young people that if they discover that a nude image of themselves has been shared online that they do not need to deal with this situation alone and that our Childline counsellors are always here to listen and help provide support. 

For further support children can contact a Childline counsellor on 0800 1111 or via 1-2-1 chat on www.childline.org.uk 

The Report Remove tool can be found here

 

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