New tool lets teens pull nude photos from internet


European Union



Teens who encounter nude pictures of themselves on the internet can take them offline from now on. The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has developed a new program with which photos can be removed from specific social media platforms.

The program, called “Take it Down”, allows people to submit images they believe are shared online anonymously. All sexual content that contains people of minor age will be removed. In addition, Take it Down creates a digital fingerprint for each image or video. Tech companies can use this fingerprint to detect and remove the photos from their servers, NCMEC writes in a press release.

Tech giants

Take it Down is connected to several tech giants. Currently, Facebook, Instagram, OnlyFans, Pornhub and Yubo have joined the initiatve, the Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad reports. Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, finances the initiative partially.

The companies promised to cooperate in removing the nudes of underage children. However, when a photo appears on a platform that is not part of the initiative, such as WhatsApp, Twitter or TikTok, Take it Down cannot remove it. Also, when an image is edited, it will not be recognised with the same digital fingerprint.

The program went online at the end of December. Since then, more than 200 cases have been submitted, the press release of NCMEC reads.


Having explicit content online can be scary and very traumatising, especially for young people, Gavin Portnoy says. He is the vice president of Communications & Brand at NCMEC. Up till now, it was very hard to remove pictures that had been uploaded on the internet, he points out. “That is something we want to change. The past does not define the future, and help is available.”



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.