Selfies: the naked truth
There’s nothing wrong with a few snaps of your smile but what about a bit more?
Imagine it’s late. You’re chatting online, and things are getting hot. A topless pic appears on your screen. You could send back a selfie. What’ll it be? Head and shoulders or something more revealing?
WAIT. You can send something in an instant, but think – why am I doing this?
Do you feel under pressure because they’ve sent you one? Would you take your clothes off if you were face to face? Are you doing it for you, or for them?
It’s only a picture – what’s the problem?
Nudes, sexts, fanpics – whatever you call them – taking pics of your bits and sending them to someone else is never a good idea. Whether it’s to your boyfriend or girlfriend or someone you’ve met online, a quick snap can have long term consequences.
Think before you strip!
Before you send that picture ask yourself these questions.
- Why am I doing it?Are there other, less permanent ways, of showing your boyfriend or girlfriend that you care? Do you feel under pressure to send one? Ask – am I doing this for me, or for them? Your body is yours, and you choose what you do with it. Someone who really cares about you won’t put you under pressure.
- What if I don’t do it?Think about the consequences of not sending the picture? Are they worse than what could happen if you do send it? Do you think the other person will think less of you? If they care about you they shouldn’t put you under any pressure.
- Would I do it face to face?If you’re in a relationship you might not feel ready to start having sex. If you don’t, are you really ready to share sexy pictures?
- Am I under the influence?Being turned on can make it more difficult to think straight. If things are getting hot, remember that you might not be thinking as clearly as usual. Take a little more time before deciding to send a picture.
- Does it pass the Billboard Test?Would you put it on a billboard? Would you share it with your dad, mum, nan or teacher? If not, don’t share it online.
- Could I send something else?For funny pics you can send instead download the Zipit app
- Is this abuse?Don’t share anyone else’s sexy pictures. If you send on an indecent picture or video of someone without their consent you’re breaking the law and taking part in abuse.
Only a picture?
Five reasons not send it.
- Once it’s gone, it’s gone.Share a picture or video online or on your phone and someone else might send it further. You could lose control of it and who knows where it might end up? What if your mum, dad or teacher saw it?
- Bullies go for it.You’ve probably heard stories of teenagers who have been badly bullied because of naked pictures online, like the tragic case of Amanda Todd. If you’re being bullied because of an image there is help out there
- It’s against the law!If you’re under 18, it’s illegal to take or share an ‘indecent’ picture of yourself, or to look at or share someone else’s.. If it’s naked, a topless girl, contains genitals or sex acts including masturbation it will be ‘indecent’!
- You could be blackmailed.Swapping naked pics with someone you’ve met online? If you send a picture you wouldn’t want other people to see then you could be in danger of being blackmailed.
- Will they keep your pic private?Even if you really trust them, it would only take a moment for them to share it tonight, tomorrow or next year… in that moment they could be in a silly mood, drunk or angry. They could just hit ‘send’ by accident.
Have you sent a naked selfie?
Don’t panic – there are things you can do.
Tell an adult you trust
You might be worried about talking to an adult but they are likely to be more understanding than you think. Talk to someone you trust like a parent, carer or a teacher. Talking about a problem can be the first step to solving it.
Speak to ChildLine
If you don’t want to talk to someone you know you can call ChildLine, the free helpline for young people. You can contact ChildLine about anything. No problem is too big or too small. Whatever your worry, it’s better out than in.
ChildLine is a private and confidential service. Confidential means not telling anyone else what you’ve said. This means that whatever you say stays between you and ChildLine.
They would only need to tell someone else if:
- You ask them to
- They believe your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger
- You are being hurt by someone in a position of trust who has access to other children like a teacher or police officer
- You tell them that you are seriously harming another young person
Call them on 0800 1111. The number won’t appear on your phone bill.
You can also visit www.childline.org.uk to speak to a counsellor online.
Report the image
If an image has been shared on social networks or other sites you can report the image to sites where it’s been shared. Find out how to report on some popular sites.
If the site doesn’t have any way to report the image you can call ChildLine and they will report it to the Internet Watch Foundation who can get the image taken down.
Are you being threatened?
If you shared a naked pic or video and someone is threatening you or you shared it because someone pressured or forced you, it is never too late to get help.
Don’t give in to threats or send any more pictures. Walk away and tell an adult you trust or report to CEOP.
If you think you are in immediate danger call 999.
CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them.
If you’ve met someone online, or face to face, and they are putting you under pressure to have sex or making you feel uncomfortable you should report to CEOP.
This might be someone:
- Making you have sex when you donʼt want to
- Chatting about sex online
- Asking you to meet up face to face if youʼve only met them online
- Asking you to do sexual things on webcam
- Asking for sexual pictures of you
- Making you feel worried, anxious or unsafe