Around 24% of young British adults had naked photos of them shared on the Internet without their consent, reveals a new UK survey conducted on over 1,000 youngsters aged 13-25 years across the United Kingdom by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label. Because of this breach, 1/3 respondents felt less confident, 26% had suicidal thoughts and 24% tried to harm themselves.
“An ex-boyfriend of mine took naked photos of me on holiday and then decided to send it to EVERYONE we knew via WhatsApp. He then uploaded the picture online and continued to send it. I got the police involved and they said there was nothing they could do as when someone has a photo of you it becomes their property to do as they wish with it,” said 22-year-old Siobhan.
When it came to sexting, 37% respondents confirmed to sending a naked photo to their better halves, at least once, for ‘harmless fun’ or to ‘receive photos back’. 63% of those 73% who didn’t send naked photos, did not explain why they didn’t want to share a naked photo.
The survey pointed to frequent use of image-sharing apps on smartphones as reason behind cyber bullying. “I get a lot of abuse on smartphone apps and online mainly from people I don’t know. Usually they say nasty things about the way I look or about my disability,” said 14-year-old Ross.
About 62% admitted to receiving nasty private messages on social networks apps such as Grindr, Skype and Kik Messenger. “I told an online friend about my sexuality on Skype and then he started to blackmail me. He said that he would tell everybody and out me,” said 15-year-old Chris.
The Wireless Report 2014 Key findings:
- 37% of 13 – 25 year olds have sent a naked photo of themselves via a smartphone app.
- 30% of 15 year olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once.
- 15% of 13 & 14 year olds have sent a naked photo of themselves at least once.
- 5% of 13 year olds send naked photos several times a week.
- 24% have sent a naked photo to someone they know only online.
- 24% have had a naked photo shared without their consent.
- 49% believe is just harmless fun.
- 16% said it’s the normal thing to do.
- 13% felt pressurised into doing it.
- Females are twice as likely to send a naked photo of themselves more than once a week than men.
Abuse on Smartphone Apps:
- 62% have been sent nasty private messages via smartphone apps
- 52% have never reported the abuse they have received.
- 47% have received nasty profile comments
- 40% have received nasty photo comments.
- 42% have received hate-based comments (racism, homophobia etc.)
- 28% have had personal information shared without consent.
- 26% felt like it wasn’t taken seriously when reported
- 49% experienced a loss in confidence as a result of the bullying
- 28% retaliated and sent something abusive back
- 24% turned to self harming as a coping mechanism
- 22% tried to change their appearance to avoid further abuse
- 13% stopped using the app as a result of abuse.