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What is inappropriate?

Online bullying and sharing photos without permission are not OK. It is called digital abuse when violence is enforced through a smartphone, computer, or social media. If you experience abusive behavior online, speak to someone you trust and get help.

Examples of inappropriate behavior

  • To tease someone or bully online because the person is different in some way.
  • To write offensive comments, for example about another person‘s looks or actions.
  • To share or threaten to share nude photos of another person without permission.
  • To receive sexual photos or messages you did not ask for.

Here below is advice if photos of you are shared without permission or you feel violated online in any way. The following points are for all kinds of examples, so find what may apply to you.

  • This is not your fault. People often feel ashamed when a nude photo of them is shared online, or feel like it‘s their fault. But you didn‘t do anything wrong, even if you sent the photo in the first place. You didn‘t ask to be put in this position.
  • Ask for the photo to be deleted. If you know the person who shared the photo, ask for it to be removed in your presence. If you don‘t know the person, write them a message. Point out that this act is illegal and ask for the photo to be deleted.
  • Check where it was shared. Was the photo shared on a friend‘s phone, in a closed Facebook group, or is it visible to everyone on Instagram? Google your name to see what information about you is visible online.
  • Store the evidence. Take photos or screenshots of photos, videos, or text related to the incident if the person refuses to delete the content. Then you have evidence of what happened. It is a good idea to ask friends or family to help with gathering evidence. They can be used to prove the violation and report it to social media or the police.
  • Report it to social media. Photos can spread quite fast, even if only one person shares the photos on their profile. Report it as soon as you can. It is important to explain the reason why the photo should be deleted. That could be reasons like a) this is a violation of your personal life, b) someone made a fake account in your name, or c) the nude photo violates the rules of social media.
  • Talk to an adult. It can be difficult or awkward to tell someone. However, problems tend to become easier to deal with when you talk about them out loud instead of carrying them alone. Therefore it is important to talk to an adult that you trust. It is your parent‘s duty to help you. Remember that parents were also young once, so it‘s likely they will understand.

Online bullying

Let‘s help to stop online bullying by learning about how it looks and sounds and how serious the consequences are.

Digital sexual abuse

Digital sexual abuse is to show or share nude photos of others without permission, send unwanted nude photos or, sexting (sending messages with sexual undertones). It can also be to push others to share sexual photographs, for example in exchange for money, or use nudes to scare, threaten or blackmail money from others.