UK launches tool to remove nude photos of children from the web

Childline, a UK-based advisory service for children and young people, has partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a nongovernmental organization, to release a new tool that allows young people to remove their nude photos from the Internet.

With the help of Report Remove, anyone under the age of 18 can report a photograph or video of him in the nude that has leaked onto the Web. The IWF will evaluate the content and, if found to be in violation of the law, will remove it from the Internet. To do this, a digital fingerprint (hash) of the photo will be generated, which will then be sent to technology platforms in order to prevent the download or further publication of this image. A child or adolescent reporting a nude image of himself online must receive a response from the IWF (via Childline) within 24 hours.

One of the reasons for the creation of Report Remove is the rapid growth in the number of intimate content created by children and adolescents themselves. According to the IWF, from January to April 2021, the number of reports of such images doubled compared to the same period in 2020 – from 17,500 to 38,000. The publication of nude photos and videos of children and adolescents on the Internet can have very serious consequences for them and lead to mental health problems and raise concerns about their reputation in the future.

There are a number of reasons why young people tend to create intimate content with their participation. Sometimes this is done for fun in order to send a photo or video to your boyfriend or girlfriend, and later the content is published on the Web without their knowledge. In some cases, adolescents take pictures of themselves naked as a result of blackmail or in response to persistent requests from their boyfriends.

You can use Report Remove anonymously – young people do not need to provide their real names, and age can be verified through the Yoti platform without the need to provide any additional information. In addition, Childline and the IWF are coordinating with law enforcement to ensure that police do not visit victims unless absolutely necessary.

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