Self Taken Images - 'Sexting'
Someone taking an indecent image of themselves, and sending it to their friends or boy/girlfriend via a mobile phone or some other form of technology is sometimes referred to as ‘sexting’.
Once these images have been taken and sent to others, control is lost of them and they can end up anywhere. They could be seen by friends and family, a future employer, or even, in some cases, end up in the possession an offender!
This also puts that person who originally sent the images in a vulnerable position, as somebody they may or may not know now has these images and could use technology to bully, harass or even try to locate them.
Just think – if you wouldn’t print and pass these images around your school or show your mum or dad, they are not appropriate to share via phone or other technologies.
What can I do?
If you receive an indecent image or naked selfie from someone, do not send this image on to others. It's also never a good idea to send a naked selfie of yourself in response, you never know where it might end up!
ChildLine has developed a great new app called Zipit to help young people get flirty chat back on track. It provides young people with funny responses to requests for naked selfies from their freinds and other young people, advice on safe flirting and what to do if the spread of a naked image has got out of control. Find out more about Zipit and how to download it here.
If you know that an indecent image of you or a friend has been posted in the online environment, you will need to contact the service provider, such as Facebook, or Youtube to have it removed. You can do this by visiting their safety centres and following their reporting links.
By sending indecent pictures of a person under 18 on to someone else you could be breaking the law.
If a teenager were to have in their possession an indecent image of another minor, they would technically be in possession of an indecent image of a child, which is an offence under the Protection of Children Act 1978 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Who should I tell?
Always tell an adult you trust. This could be your mum, dad, school teacher or a cool auntie!
If somebody you don't know has contacted you inappropriately or the images are being used against you, fill out a report form at ClickCEOP.
If you are upset or worried by an image you have sent or received, you can call ChildLine and talk to someone in confidence on 0800 1111.
You can also visit www.cybermentors.org.uk for online support and advice about cyberbullying and much more.