This tool is currently unavailable to make reports. This is because we’re making changes to make it easier for you to use. We are hoping to have it back as soon as possible, but if you need support during this time please contact Childline on 0800 1111 or chat to a counsellor.
IWF will read all reports within one working day, from Monday to Friday. The time it takes to get your image removed from the internet can be different depending on where the image is hosted, but IWF analysts will always try to make sure it happens as soon as possible.
We'll do our best to let you know once your image has been removed by sending a message to your Childline locker.
We recommend you check your locker every few days after you make a report. This is so you can see if your image has been removed, and so Childline can let you know if IWF need more information to be able to remove it. Remember, IWF can’t contact you directly.
When you use Report Remove, your image or video is shared with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). They'll work to get your image removed from the internet. See ‘Who are the IWF?’ to learn about how that happens.
Most of the time, nobody will know that you've made a report and your report won't be shared with anyone else.
If the police already have the image or video you report, then they might investigate what's happened. Only the police can decide if they'll need to tell someone else.
The police might already have your image or video if:
someone has reported it on another website and that website passed it to the police
they're investigating someone who had or has the image or video already (if someone is found to have your image and is breaking the law – regardless of how, it may be included as evidence in a criminal case against that person
someone else reported the image to them directly.
Remember that the police are there to protect you, not to get you into trouble. If the image has been reported somewhere else and you're worried, you can always speak to a Childline counsellor.
If you have parental controls on your phone your parent or carer might see when you want to download a new app, so they might get a notification if you try to download Yoti and want to know why. To avoid this, use the second option to prove your age (called ‘ID verification’).
IWF can remove images that are public or available to anyone on the internet. However, they won’t be able to remove images or videos on encrypted networks like WhatsApp, or which are saved on a person’s phone or computer.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a UK charity, are there to help remove illegal nude images of under 18s posted online.
Once the IWF has confirmed your nude image is against the law and can be removed from the internet they give it a digital fingerprint called a ‘hash’. The hash can be used to find your image online even if it has been cropped or slightly changed.
Sharing just the hash with certain trusted companies and organisations, means that technology can be used to find online matches of the image – this is key to trying to stop it appearing in different places on the internet. Even though the hashes and images are shared with UK police, this is so that if they came across the image some other way, they’d know that you also reported it yourself. Report Remove was developed with the full support of the police and no one involved wants to get you into trouble for sharing the image so it can be removed.
Different companies use the hash in different ways. For example, if an illegal image match is found to have been shared by an online account holder, a company may decide to close that person’s account as posting illegal images will be against the company’s terms and conditions. If your image(s) are found on or are linked to your online user account(s) it may be possible for the company to associate your profile with the images.
The companies that take the hashes trust the Report Remove process, however if they have significant concerns that the person in the image may not be the person who was age verified, they may get in touch with the IWF to raise their concerns.
There are 3 organisations that help you report your image using Report Remove. These are Childline, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and also Yoti if you are 13 or older. All of them have a responsibility to keep all of your personal information safe.
1. We’ll ask you to choose your age range (under 13, 13-15, 16-17, 18 and over). If you’re under 13, you’ll go straight to step 3. If you’re aged 13 or older, us at Childline will ask you to visit Yoti. The only information we will share with Yoti is that you are wanting to prove your age to use Report Remove.
2. Once you prove your age using Yoti, you will come back to Report Remove on Childline. The only information Yoti will share with Childline is confirmation that you’re younger or older than 18.
3. We’ll then ask you to create or sign in to a Childline account. Then you’ll go to the IWF website to share the content you want removed. Childline will only share the information below with IWF:
that you’re younger than 18,
the age range you selected at the start,
a unique number that is created when you use Report Remove.
4. After your report has been passed to the IWF, they will tell Childline if they were able to take the images or video down from the internet, and why. This is so Childline can let you know what happened.
Information you give to IWF
The only information you will give to the IWF are the images, videos or URLs you report. There is space to add information such as where the image or video is on a webpage.
Nude images and videos that IWF decide are illegal may be kept by the IWF for up to 2 years. This is because there is an agreement with the Police and CPS (Crime Prosecution Service), called a ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Illegal images are given a hash (a string of numbers that are like a digital fingerprint). The hash is shared with organisations such as technology companies who host online content, so that they can look for the image and take it down. The actual image is not shared with these companies. The image and the hash are shared with the police who store it on their Child Abuse Image Database. Any images or videos that they decide are not illegal may be kept for a maximum of 6 months for quality checking and any follow up questions. They will then be deleted.
Childline will never see what pictures, videos or URLs you share with the IWF. The only information the IWF shares with Childline apart from your case number is whether or not they could take down your images or videos, and why, so we can let you know.
Information you give to Yoti You may need to use Yoti to confirm your age if you’re over 13. This may involve taking a selfie, so Yoti know it is you who are proving your age, and uploading a picture of some ID. Any personal data you send Yoti - like your photo, date of birth or address - is scrambled with a high level of encryption so that even if it was stolen, no one could use it to identify you. The only information Yoti shares with Childline is confirmation that you’re under or over 18.
If you’re using the Yoti app, Yoti may use the selfie, month and year of birth you add to the Yoti app to improve its age estimation technology. You can opt out from this in the More> My Data> Biometric consent menu of the app.