For Young People

Nude selfies are more and more seen as a normal thing to do but there are lots of risks attached to them.

We asked the young people who attended the November 2016 conferences for advice to give to other young people. You can see the outcome in the poster opposite.

Did you know that, if you are under 18 and you take a nude selfie of yourself, or even a photo where you are wearing close and it looks sexual then this is a crime? It can carry up to a five year prison sentence. In reality you are really unlikely to end up in the Criminal Justice System for doing this - the police are much more interested in education around the subject than prosecuting young people. But you need to know that this is one of the risks of taking the image. If you send an image like this, whether it is of yourself or someone else, you commit a crime too. When the police consider what they should do about this they look at the context. If it is sent between a 17 year old boyfriend and a 17 year old girlfriend, for instance, this is considered a much lower risk than if they were younger or if it was put up on social media. It is these sort of factors the police, and potentially the courts will take in to account.

In March 2015 the Internet Watch Foundation found that 89.9% of the images and videos of what they call "youth produced sexual images" - nude selfies - were found in places other than those that they had originally been posted. What this means is that about 90% of the images that had been put up on places like WhatsApp were found in places where the original creator no longer had control of them. In the worst case scenarios this would be in collections held by online sexual predators. This is one of the biggest risks of nude selfies. There are actions you can take that will help get the images down but there is a risk that it won't be possible. It is probably the main reason why we suggest you should take them.

If you are thinking about taking a naked selfie then please take the time to really consider your actions and the probable consequences. Talk to someone about it. If you can't find someone that you trust then why don't you have an anonymous conversation with someone at Childline?

If you've already sent a naked selfie and now want to take it down then there are things you can do. Speak to someone, preferably an adult, you trust. If the image is on one of the major social media sites it will likely be in breach of their terms and conditions so report it to them. They will want to take it down too. If you aren't sure, again, speak to Childline. They will work with the Internet Watch Foundation to try and get that image down too. Above all, keep calm. Don't hide it away like a secret. Asking for help can be quite scary but it will pay off in the long term.

If you are worried about a friend then it is worth speaking to an adult too. Childline will still be happy to speak to you. Make sure your friend knows that they aren't on their own. They will be scared. In the end they will be grateful for your help.