What should I do if someone is asking me to share a nude or sexual photo or video of myself on Instagram?

We worked with ConnectSafely.org on the following answer. For more information and advice please visit www.connectsafely.org.

Sharing nude or sexual photos/videos is a violation of Instagram’s Community Guidelines, so the simplest answer you can give someone is, “No. It’s not allowed on Instagram.” But beyond Instagram, it’s important to think about how it would impact you if nude or sexual photos/videos of yourself got out of your control. This can happen the instant someone shares a photo or video. Sometimes people make mistakes, play stupid jokes, or act in anger and share things they shouldn’t.

If you’re under the age of 18, it’s especially important for you to know that sharing nude or sexually explicit images of minors—on the web, on mobile phones, by mail or any other way—is illegal in most countries and could have serious legal and life-changing consequences for both the creator of the images and anyone who requests them.

The safest thing you can do is never share nude photos/videos—or anything else you wouldn’t want other people seeing—to anyone, even if you feel very close to the person asking for them. If someone you care about asks you to share a nude photo/video or leave Instagram for a private web chat and you don’t want to, tell the person that it makes you feel uncomfortable. If this person really cares about you, he or she will understand. If anyone tries to threaten or intimidate you into sharing photos/video, just refuse. If it continues, tell someone you trust or contact the police.

Also remember that Instagram is a place to share your life with your followers through photos and video. When you allow someone to follow you, they may see personal information you've shared on Instagram (like your personal website URL or who follows you). The best way to stay safe is to only accept followers that you know well outside of Instagram.

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