Childline’s new tool helps young people remove nude images shared online

The NSPCC’s service for children and young people, Childline, has launched the Report Remove tool with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to help young people remove nude images of themselves from the internet.

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The Report Remove tool can be used by any young person under 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that’s appeared online. The IWF then review these reports, and work to have the content removed if it breaks the law. 

There are many reasons a young person may have shared a self-generated sexual image. Some may have sent an image for fun, or to a boyfriend or girlfriend, which has then been shared with others or on platforms without their consent. They  may also have been groomed online or blackmailed into sharing this content.

The IWF has seen reports of self-generated images more than double from January to April this year compared with the same period last year1.

Our trained Childline counsellors know the devastating impact that the sharing of nude images can have on a young person. Some young people told our counsellors they felt embarrassed, fearful and self-loathing, while others had concerns about the long-term impact on the


Using Report Abuse to report nude images

First piloted in February 2020, the Report Remove tool can be found on the Childline website

To report a nude image or video, the young person has to first verify their age. Our Childline service ensures all young people are safeguarded and supported throughout the process. 

Young people can expect the same level of confidentiality they would from all their interactions with Childline; they do not need to provide their real name to Childline or IWF if they don’t want to. 

The tool has been developed in collaboration with law enforcement to make sure that children will not be unnecessarily visited by the police when they make a report.

Supporting your child if their nude images are being shared

If a child has had a nude image shared online it’s vital they know who to turn to for support and our Report Remove tool is available for them.

You can also find more ways to support your child if they've been sexting here

Cormac Nolan, Service Head of Childline Online said: 

“The impact of having a nude image shared on the internet cannot be underestimated and for many young people, it can leave them feeling extremely worried and unsure on what to do or who to turn to for support. 

That’s why Childline and the IWF have developed Report Remove to provide young people a simple, safe tool that they can use to try and help them regain control over what is happening and get this content erased.

Any young person who makes a report should also receive feedback on the outcome of their report in one working day from the IWF via Childline. 

Additionally, Childline also has lots of information on how children and young people can keep themselves safe online as well as advice on what to do if they are feeling pressured to send a nude image and what they can do to help them cope if a situation of this nature has happened.”

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF, said: 

“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.

Once those images are out there, it can be an incredibly lonely place for victims, and it can seem hopeless. It can also be frightening, not knowing who may have access to these images. 

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.” 


References

  1. 1. From January to April 2021, just over 38,000 reports the IWF actioned included “self-generated” content. This compares to the same period in 2020 when about 17,500 reports included self-generated content. Source: ‘Appalling’ rise of ‘devious’ criminals tricking children into sexually abusing themselves on camera | Internet Watch Foundation (iwf.org.uk)