Children given 'world first' tool to prevent nude photos being shared online

22 June 2021, 10:58

Under-18s can access the Report Remove tool on NSPCC's Childline website.
Under-18s can access the Report Remove tool on NSPCC's Childline website. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Children worried about nude images and videos appearing online can now access a tool to prevent content being shared.

The Report Remove tool, available on the NSPCC's Childline website, will give young people the opportunity to flag images to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) before they appear online.

IWF will then review the content and create a unique digital fingerprint - a hash - which will be given to tech companies to prevent it from being uploaded and shared.

The tool can also be used to remove images and videos that have already been put online. Children can provide the URL and it will be analysed and removed if it is found to break the law.

Either way, those using the tool will receive feedback on the outcome of their report within one working day.

Chief executive of IWF, Susie Hargreaves, said the tool is "a world first".

"Once those images are out there, it can be an incredibly lonely place for victims, and it can seem hopeless," she said.

"It can also be frightening, not knowing who may have access to these images.

Read more: Sexual harassment 'normalised' for children in school, says Ofsted report

Read more: Zara McDermott opens up on LBC about the trauma of being a revenge porn victim

"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."

Reports of self-generated images more than doubled in the first three months of this year compared to 2020, IWF said.

This tool can help prevent revenge porn from former partners as well as helping those who have been groomed or blackmailed online.

Service head of Childline Online, Cormac Nolan, 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."

Young people will have to verify their age but can keep their real names private from IWF and Childline.

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