Flirting, exploring sexual feelings and having relationships – a natural part of growing up – increasingly happens online.
For teenagers surrounded by sexual images and behaviour in the media, it can be difficult knowing where to draw the line when sharing their own photos and videos. For example, if they see images of celebrities posing in their underwear, they might believe it's OK to do the same.
Some young people think that sharing nudes (often called sexting) will get people's attention or make them more popular.
In some cases, they might be pressured into it by boyfriends, girlfriends, friends or even complete strangers and not realise that sharing such personal images could put them at risk of sexual exploitation. They might find that their photos and videos are passed on to other people without their consent. Known as revenge porn or sextortion, this sometimes happens when a relationship comes to an end and their former partner wants to hurt them.
Furthermore, young people could be breaking the law by taking, sharing or possessing these images.
To help protect our younger users, nude and sexual images are not allowed on Yubo and we take steps to remove them as soon as we are aware of them.
Hey, I work for The Revenge Porn Helpline - we help support people when their nudes have been shared online without your consent.In this article I'm going to try and outline some dos, don'ts and whys of taking nudes.
Since we launched the Revenge Porn Helpline in 2015 we have helped remove more than 21,000 images and videos.
We speak to people every day who have had their whole lives flipped upside down just because of a nude that has been shared out of context. People lose their jobs, their families and their friends. It can damage future relationships because people feel they can never trust someone again.
Sometimes, we can't get those images removed from being online and it is something people have to live with. Every time they go for a new job, meet new people or move house they are worried, thinking people are looking at them funny and that everyone has seen them naked online.
It's your body, it's your choice. That's what we're told, but when it comes to nudes a lot of people will tell you that you shouldn't take them, never share them and if you do, be ashamed of yourself if they get posted online.
That's not right. It is your body and it is your choice. You're feeling good about yourself, you're looking fit, why can't you capture that moment. It might just be a picture you want to take for yourself, you might want to share it with your boo, or you might just want to show your mate how buff you are today. It's really no-one's business but your own.
With all that said, legally, a nude image of someone under 18 is classed as child sexual abuse imagery. In other words if you are under 18 and have happily and willingly taken a nude selfie, you have created child sexual abuse imagery.
Dependant on your country, you can probably legally have sex before you can legally take a nude of yourself. Sounds crazy right!?
When it comes to social media, nudes can cause all sorts of problems for online platforms, and can create huge moral and legal issues. If you're under 18 and your nudes end up on any platform, they are going to be in serious trouble.
While we want to encourage body positivity, self-confidence and freedom, what websites and apps don't want is to host anything that is illegal. So under-age nudes are an issue, and as it is pretty much impossible for any platform to decipher if someone is 17 or 18 in the nude, it is a lot easier to have a blanket policy of no nudes.
But that's not the only problem. Some people in this world feel that it's ok for them to share someone else's nudes to a wider audience, without that person's consent. Often this is malicious, sometimes it's meant as a joke and other times it may just be meant as a compliment. Either way, it's not ok and never will be acceptable behaviour.
In the UK it is now illegal and you could end up with real prison time for doing it. If social media platforms did allow nudes, unfortunately a lot of people would abuse that in order to harass, shame and blackmail others?
If you find yourself in possession of someone else's nudes, show them some respect by not sharing them any further. Imagine how you would feel if it was the other way around. If someone has chosen to share something sensitive with you, they probably trust you. Don't abuse that.
Even if you were in a relationship with that person and they broke your heart, that doesn't give you the right to their body. They may have shared those pics with you, but they are not yours. If you feel like it's the ultimate revenge, remember you will be doing yourself a disservice, and think about your future, if nothing else who would want to go out with someone who plastered their ex's boobs all over the internet!?
I'm not here to tell you not to take nudes, but I am going to tell you to look after yourself. You know what's really attractive? Self-worth and respect. Take nudes if you want, but here are some things to consider;
Keeping all that in mind, the most important person to listen to is you.
You know when you have that weird feeling in your stomach, like you're just about to go into an exam you haven't revised for, or you're walking out of your house knowing you've forgotten something important but don't know what. That's your body telling you something isn't right. You can try and rationalise it, reason with that feeling but if it's there, it's there for a reason.
In a relationship, it is easy for one person to put pressure on the other without realising they are doing it or that it is happening to them . "You would send me a pic if you loved me" – That'scoercive and manipulative bull crap! If someone really loved you they wouldn't pressure you into doing anything, let alone something that could leave you feeling vulnerable.
If they are behaving like that while they are in a relationship, what happens if the relationship breaks down? On the RP Helpline the most common "revenge porn" cases start this way, the relationship was already abusive and then when it's over the person with the pictures feel they still have power over their ex. Even if the pictures are never posted the threat is enough for some to relent and get back into the unhealthy relationship, where they are often manipulated- into sharing even more.
This is domestic abuse; it doesn't always have to include violence. This isn't the only kind of pressure we face with this though. If you go online, it doesn't matter where, everyone is doing it. Instagram models make a living out of posting racey pics, every other profile pic of a girl includes a pout and cleavage. The need to conform is strong and if you want to join in, do, but don't feel you have to in order to be "part of it".
Live streaming and chat rooms like Omegle can often give you a sense of anonymity and with that, freedom. We see a lot of people just get a bit carried away with the fun, caught up in the moment. The power and excitement of more people viewing your stream is also a kind of pressure, because how do you keep them engaged, what's the most risky and exciting thing you can do? Flash? Leave aside the fact that most platforms will kick you off for doing so, surely there are more creative and interesting ways to get views and build followers? I for one have never seen Zoella's boobs!
So many times we see it happen so quickly, a girl (typically but not always) will start talking to a guy, it gets dirty quickly and nudes are sent. The guy then turns nasty "If you don't send me more, I'm going to share the pics you already sent with every single one of your Facebook friends."
Extortion for more pics is one thing, but sometimes it's even worse. Criminal gangs, often based overseas, will pretend to be attractive girls by using footage cobbled together from cam girl sites to trick (typically) men into chatting to them before enticing them to get their bits out on cam. The next thing he knows he's getting messages like, "Pay me £2000 or I'm sharing this video with all your contacts".This is organised crime!
Sexting and nudes are part of our youth culture, whether you like it or not. Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose have basically built million dollar businesses out of their butts.
It's ridiculous and dated to be negative and judgemental about someone taking nudes. But it is equally ridiculous and stupid to screw yourself over by sharing someone else's nudes and landing yourself if trouble with the police.
If it happens and your nudes do end up online, there are things you can do. Don't panic.
The vast majority of online platforms do not want to be part of the abuse and will remove those images when reported. Even if there's not a specific law, this is considered a crime in most countries, be it harassment or malicious communications. Contact the police if you can and don't try to deal with it alone, you need good friends in situations like this. Look after yourself, put yourself first and most of all, have a good time!