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Steps you can take to get pictures/videos off the Internet

Many youth take pictures/videos of themselves and send them to friends or post the content online – you are likely no different. Sometimes, the content may end up on the Internet without your permission. When this happens, removing the picture/video is often a primary focus.

If you know where your picture/video has been posted, you can try to take steps to get it off the Internet. The most popular websites and other online services have a process for reporting and many place a higher priority on situations involving children/youth. If you have been impacted by a sexual picture/video being posted on the Internet, there are some practical steps you can take to regain some control over the content. By including certain information in your report, there is a good chance these sites will take down the sexual picture/video of you.

Steps you can take:

  1. Determine what service (e.g. YouTube®, Facebook®, Twitter®) the picture/video is displayed on and contact that service to request that they remove the picture/video.

    For information about contacting popular websites and requesting the removal of pictures/videos, please visit needhelpnow.ca/removing_pictures.

    Be sure to get directly to the point as the service likely receives a large number of complaints each day and it will be helpful for them to know why your request is important.

    At a minimum, include the following information within your complaint:

    1. Your age: This lets the website/online service know that you are a child/youth. If the picture/video was taken when you were a different age then you are presently, include your age at the time the picture/video was taken as well as your current age.
    2. Identify yourself as the person in the picture/video: Say that you are the child/youth in the picture/video. If you are identifiable in the picture/video (i.e. if a person who knows you viewed the picture/video, s/he would recognize you), include this as well – the website/online service may give your complaint a higher priority.
    3. Object to the posting of the content: Say that you did not post the picture/video to their site, did not give permission for the content to be posted and that you want it removed. This lets them know that you object to the continued posting of the picture/video.
    You may also want to include information in your complaint about who had access to the content. If you sent the picture/video to someone else, say so, and give the name of the person you sent the content to. This may help the website trace who posted the content and prevent the individual from posting content in the future.
    • Sample Complaints:

      • I am 13 years old and I am requesting the removal of a sexual picture/video of myself that appears through your service at the following URL: [insert the exact URL(website address) where the image/video is located].
      • I did not post the picture/video on your site or give permission for it to be posted and I do not want it to stay there.
      If you do not know who posted the picture/video, you could say:
      • I do not know who posted the picture/video onto your site.
      If you do know who posted the picture/video, you could say:
      • I do not know who posted the picture/video onto your site, but I did send the picture/video to my boyfriend, [insert full name] and I did not give him permission to post it.
      • I am not sure who posted the picture/video onto your site, but I have reason to believe that it may have been [insert full name].
  2. You may want to submit a report to Cybertip.ca. If you are being threatened, intimidated or blackmailed in any way, we highly encourage you to report to us or talk to a safe adult about what is occurring. For more information on situations that have gone too far, please see needhelpnow.ca/reporting.

The above information is for general use only. It is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as legal or professional advice.