New Tool Launched to Remove Nude Images of Children Online

New Tool Launched to Remove Nude Images of Children Online

A new online tool has been launched to help young people remove nude images of themselves that have been shared online.

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 broken the law. To do so, a digital fingerprint – a hash – will be created from the image and provided to tech platforms to enable them to prevent the image from being shared or uploaded online.

Any young person making a report should also receive feedback from the IWF via Childline within one working day.

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 images online can have a particularly devastating impact on young people, leading to mental health issues and fears about how it may affect their future prospects.

There are a variety of reasons why young people self-generate sexual images or videos. Sometimes they are sent for fun to a boyfriend or girlfriend and are subsequently shared online without their consent. In other circumstances, young people are groomed online or blackmailed into generating this type of content.

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