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New tool by NSPCC and Internet Watch Foundation will help children and young people remove nude images online

News / Sun 27th Jun 2021 at 12:00pm

Dear Editor,

IT can be a frightening reality when we share an intimate image in confidence only for it to spread amongst strangers across the web.

This situation is understandably mortifying for anyone who goes through it, but for our young people this is an incredibly serious situation that can impact them in ways that affect their lives into adulthood.

This week, in partnership with the Internet Watch Foundation, we’ve launched a new tool specifically designed to help young people get nude images and videos removed from the internet.

Known as Report Remove, it can be used by anyone under the age of 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that has appeared online. The IWF will then review this content and work to have it removed if it breaks the law.

At Childline, we know that the circumstances surrounding the sharing of a self-generated sexual image by a young person can vary. Some may have sent this image for fun, or to a boyfriend or girlfriend, and subsequently this content has been shared without their consent. In other cases, a young person may have been groomed or blackmailed into sharing this content.

Unfortunately, the IWF has seen reports of self-generated images more than double from January to April this year and compared to the same period last year these numbers have increased from 17,500 to 38,000. Our counsellors regularly hear from young people who have endured the awful consequences of crimes of this nature.

Many of them told our counsellors how they felt embarrassed, fearful and how they felt a sense of self-loathing, others had concerns about the long-term impact this would have on their future and some, sadly, turned to self-harm to cope.

This is why it’s so important to have somewhere to turn if this happens. The Report Remove tool is available on the Childline website alongside helpful hints and tips to cope with mental health struggles and other worries and concerns. Young people can turn to Childline’s confidential service whenever they need to, on the website there are options for one to one chats as well as message boards where they can talk to their peers.

It is so vital that children and young people know they’re not alone, especially right now, and together we can make this a better year for them.

Cormac Nolan, Service Head of Childline Online

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