A new online tool was launched to help young people to remove nude photos of themselves that have been shared online.
Children in Britain who see nude photos or videos of themselves online or are concerned about such content being uploaded can report it using a first-of-its-kind tool launched on Tuesday.
The Report Remove tool, developed by Childline and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), enables any person under the age of 18 to report any nude image or video of them that has appeared on the internet. The IWF will assess the content, which will work to remove it if it is found to have failed to comply with the law.
The new tool has been created amid a surge in self-generated images this year, with the IWF revealing that reports of this nature have more than doubled from January to April 2021 compared to the same period last year, from 17,500 to 38,000.
The sharing of sexual photos online can have particularly negative consequences for young people, which in turn leads to mental health problems, and anxiety about how to do this can have an impact on their future.
Such content appears online for various reasons, according to the charity. A young person may send a photo to a boyfriend or girlfriend who shares the material without their consent, or they could be a victim of online grooming or blackmail.
The Report Remove tool, which was first tested in February 2020, offering the opportunity to young people to help in this situation.
“The impact of having a nude image shared on the internet cannot be underestimated,” Cormac Nolan, who heads the NSPCC’s Childline online counseling service, said in a statement. “It can leave youngster’s feeling extremely worried and unsure on what to do ” he added.
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.