If you know a young person who has had a sexual image or video of themselves shared online, and they’re under 18, talk to them about Childline and the Internet Watch Foundation's Report Remove tool. It allows young people to discreetly report a nude image or video shared online, to see if it’s possible to get it taken down. Young people can get support from Childline throughout the process.
How does Report Remove work?
- Young people aged 13+ are first directed to Yoti to verify their age using ID (our legal remit means we can only remove images of children.) Children aged under 13 do not need to prove their age.
- Once children have proved they are younger than 18, they are prompted to create a Childline account, which allows them to be safeguarded and supported throughout the process.
- Young people are then taken to a dedicated IWF portal where they can securely upload images, videos or URLs (website addresses).
- IWF analysts assess the reported content and take action if it meets the threshold of illegality*. The content is given a unique digital fingerprint (a hash) which is then shared with internet companies to help prevent the imagery from being uploaded or redistributed online.
- The outcome will be conveyed to Childline who will then contact the young person via their Childline account to keep them updated and offer further support.
One girl aged 14 who contacted Childline said: “I don’t know what to do because this Instagram account keeps posting pictures of me and they keep saying they’re going to follow my friends so they can see them too. It all started after I shared naked pics with someone who I thought was a friend but it turned out to be a fake account. I just feel so hopeless and I don’t know how to make it stop”.
Why is this important?
This solution provides a child-centred approach to image removal which can be done entirely online. The young person does not need to tell anyone who they are (their ID is not linked to their report), they can make the report at any time, and further information and support is always available from the Childline website.
Visit the Report Remove page here.
* The IWF assesses content in accordance with the Protection of Children Act (1978) and Sentencing Council Guidelines (2014).