Nudes/ Semi-nudes

Information Page

What does it mean?

‘Sharing nudes and semi-nudes’ means the sending or posting of nude or semi-nude images, videos or live streams by young people under the age of 18 online. This could be via social media, gaming platforms, chat apps or forums. It could also involve sharing between devices via services like Apple’s AirDrop which works offline.

The term ‘nudes’ is used as it is most commonly recognised by young people and more appropriately covers all types of image sharing incidents. Alternative terms used by children and young people may include ‘dick pics’ or ‘pics’.

The motivations for taking and sharing nude and semi-nude images, videos and live streams are not always sexually or criminally motivated. Such images may be created and shared consensually by young people who are in relationships, as well as between those who are not in a relationship. It is also possible for a young person in a consensual relationship to be coerced into sharing an image with their partner. Incidents may also occur where:

  • children and young people find nudes and semi-nudes online and share them claiming to be from a peer
  • children and young people digitally manipulate an image of a young person into an existing nude online
  • images created or shared are used to abuse peers e.g. by selling images online or obtaining images to share more widely without consent to publicly shame

The sharing of nudes and semi-nudes can happen publicly online, in 1:1 messaging or via group chats and closed social media accounts. Nude or semi-nude images, videos or live streams may include more than one child or young person. Creating and sharing nudes and semi-nudes of under-18s (including those created and shared with consent) is illegal which makes responding to incidents involving children and young people complex.