If you or the person you are helping is in immediate danger please contact the police dialling 999

Helping everyone to report harmful content online

  • Threats

    This could be a threat to harm someone, to “out” them for something or to blackmail them (e.g. you have to do what I say or I’ll share that picture). Threats may be used to make someone do something they don’t want to.

    If you or someone you are helping is being threatened online:

    Talk to an adult you trust. They can help you form a plan to stay safe.

    If the threat involves something illegal – e.g. nude pictures of an under 18 year old this should be reported to the police. You can do this yourself or ask a trusted adult to help you. Remember, never take a screenshot or share a copy of a nude image of an under 18 year old yourself, as this is illegal.

    If the threat doesn’t involve something illegal:

    1. Keep evidence (like a screenshot),
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. Block the account

    If a threat puts you or someone else in danger e.g. if someone says they are going to attack or hurt somebody, report this as an emergency to the police on 999.

    Do talk to an adult you trust about this but if you’re having a tough time and you want to talk to someone else as well, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Impersonation

    This is when someone pretends to be someone else online, in order to trick people.

    If you or someone you are helping is being impersonated online:

    Talk to an adult you trust, they can help you work out what to do next.

    1. Keep evidence (like a screenshot),
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. Block the account

    If someone is impersonating you or someone else, you might want to contact the police for further advice as this could be illegal in the UK.

    Do talk to an adult you trust about this but if you’re having a tough time and you want to talk to someone else as well, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Bullying or Harassment

    This is when hurtful language is repetitively used to target a person or group of people and includes trolling, spreading rumours and isolating people from their friends.

    In the case of harassment, the behaviour is repeated and intended to cause harm.

    If you or someone you are helping is being bullied or harassed online:

    Talk to an adult you trust, they can help you work out what to do next.

    1. Keep evidence (like a screenshot),
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. Block the account

    If someone is bullying or harassing you or someone else, you might want to contact the police for further advice as this could be illegal in the UK.

    Do talk to an adult you trust about this but if you’re having a tough time and you want to talk to someone else as well, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Self-harm or Suicide Content

    Most platforms do not allow posts which encourage, instruct, or promote self-harm or suicide.

    If you or someone else has seen posts about self-harm or suicide online:

    1. Talk to an adult you trust, they can help make a plan to handle this.
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. If someone you know has posted it or is sharing it, do talk to an adult you trust. They can help you as well as the person that has posted/ shared.

    There are people who can help. Mind and Papyrus have helplines to support young people who are feeling as though they want to harm themselves.

    If you or someone else needs emergency help, ring for an ambulance on 999.

    Do talk to an adult you trust about this but if you’re having a tough time and you want to talk to someone else as well, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Online Abuse

    This covers all activity that intends to cause harm on a social network, website, gaming platform or app. We consider abuse to be a singular (e.g. a nasty comment from a stranger or isolated incident of trolling) and when this is repeated it becomes bullying or harassment.

    If abuse is targeted at someone because of a protected characteristic (i.e. age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity) this is a hate crime and is illegal in the UK and should be reported to True Vision

    Online abuse could be something that has happened to you or something that you have seen. It can be verbal or image based.

    If you or someone else has suffered abuse online:

    Talk to an adult you trust, they can help you work out what to do next.

    1. Keep evidence (like a screenshot),
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. Block the account

    If you have seen abuse online, you might want to contact the police for further advice as this could be illegal in the UK.

    Do talk to an adult you trust about this but if you’re having a tough time and you want to talk to someone else as well, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Violent Content

    This could include videos or cartoons showing violence, with people or animals being hurt. Most platforms do not allow this content.

    If you or someone else has seen violent content online,

    1. Talk to an adult you trust, they can help make a plan to handle this.
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. Block the account

    If the content supports terrorism, report it to Action Counters Terrorism

    If you’ve been affected by something you’ve seen and you want to talk to someone else about this, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Sexual Communications

    This happens when someone sends a sexual comment, picture or video to a young person, regardless of whether or not the young person wanted to receive it.

    If this has happened to you, or someone else, tell an adult you trust.

    You can report unwanted sexual communications to CEOP. It is illegal in the UK for an adult to send sexual communications to a young person under 16.

    It is also illegal for anyone to pressure or trick a young person into taking part in sexual activity online (e.g. sending a nude picture).

    If there is a risk of immediate harm you should call the police on 999.

    Click here to find out how to report sexual communications on various different platforms.

    Do talk to an adult you trust about this but if you’re having a tough time and you want to talk to someone else as well, Childline and The Mix can help too.

  • Pornographic Content

    Most pornography containing adult nude or sexual content is legal in the UK. Whilst some sites do allow this content, the majority of sites with users aged under 18 will not allow it. It is illegal to share or force someone under the age of 18 to watch pornography and if this has happened, this should be reported to the police.

    If you or someone else has seen pornographic content on a social networking site (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc):

    1. Talk to an adult you trust, they can help make a plan to handle this.
    2. Report it to the platform (find out how to here)
    3. Block the account

    Sexual pictures or videos of young people aged under 18 are called child abuse imagery and this is illegal. If you think a picture or video shows someone under the age of 18, report it to the Internet Watch Foundation. You should never make copies (e.g. screenshots) or share a sexual image or video of an under 18 year old as this is illegal.

    If you’ve been affected by something you’ve seen and you want to talk to someone else about this, Childline and The Mix can help too.