March 10, 2023

‘Take It Down’: New tool protects students’ privacy

Some of the content in this post might be sensitive. Please review it before sharing it with any students.

Oftentimes, students may think a high-risk behavior is very popular among peers. But in reality, it’s not. A recent study found that only 28% of all minors think that sending explicit photos is ‘normal’, and a mere 14% have shared an explicit photo or video of someone else without that person’s knowledge or consent.

You may be thinking “How can I help protect my students from explicit or nude content being shared of themselves online?” That’s where the new anonymous tool ‘Take It Down’ comes into play. This new tool gives students control over how any explicit content of themselves is shared and viewed online.

Created by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the United States’ largest child protection organization, ‘Take It Down’ was created with students’ protection and privacy in mind. 

What is ‘Take It Down’ and how does it work? 

‘Take It Down’ is a recently launched tool that helps students quickly remove explicit images from the internet. The developers created the tool in response to the growing problem of “revenge porn,” which refers to sharing intimate photos or videos online without the person’s consent. The free tool aims to empower students worldwide and give them more control over their online lives. The ‘Take It Down’ tool was created specifically for students under 18 who have had inappropriate content shared, but individuals who are 18 or older can still use it if they had explicit content shared when they were under 18.

Here’s how it works: 

  1. No need to sign up for an account to use this tool!  Simply go to “Get Started” on the ‘Take It Down’ home page. 
  2. Answer what age you are or were in the image/video you want to take down. 
  3. Verify whether the image/video shared contains any nude, partially nude, or sexual content. 
  4. Upload any of the images/videos you’re looking to get taken down. When you upload the content, the tool creates a “hash value” or digital footprint that helps find the exact photo or video online. 
  5. Review and submit your submission. 

Key players

Aside from being created by the NCMEC, some of the most popular social media companies for students are partnering up with ‘Take It Down’ to protect their users. 

Here are a few social media apps and websites that have teamed up with ‘Take It Down’ to protect students: 

  • Instagram: One of students’ go-to social media apps for posting photos and staying up to date with their friends’ lives. Six in ten students aged 13-17 use Instagram, with 50% of them saying they use it at least daily.
  • Facebook: While Facebook has become more popular among adults, 34% of teen students used Facebook in 2022.
  • Yubo: A social media site that is aimed at helping teens find new friends by swiping left or right,  99% of Yubo’s users are between the age of 13 and 25. 

How will this help my students?

Students use social media to be precisely that: social. It’s their go-to way to communicate with friends, family, and more. So the fact that ‘Take It Down’ is already locking arms with social media apps is a sign that these companies are taking extra steps and measures to keep students safe and protect their privacy. 

Share these three benefits of using ‘Take It Down’ with your students.

  • Protect your privacy: Use ‘Take It Down’ to control what is shared about you online by taking proactive steps to protect yourself and avoid any potentially harmful effects of having your photos/videos shared online.
  • Combat cyberbullying: Prevent anyone from seeing or using explicit content that may hurt or embarrass you. No one has the right to share explicit content of someone else online. 
  • Take control of what is shared online: While it may be easy for content to be shared online without consent, you deserve to feel comfortable about what is shared about yourself online. 

TSI’s Take

Our mission is to empower students to make high-character decisions online and protect their privacy by not posting content that they wouldn’t want others to see in the first place. With students using photo- or video-sharing social media apps like Instagram or Snapchat on a weekly basis, their personal information, images, and videos are at risk of being shared without their consent. By learning about its existence and how to use this tool, students can become even more informed and equipped when navigating their online world. 

At The Social Institute, one of our Seven Social Standards is Protect Your Privacy Like You’re Famous by staying in control of your personal information, and the ‘Take It Down’ tool helps students do just that. If you’re looking for tips on other ways to protect your students’ privacy, we’ve got you covered. Read “Why prioritize your students’ privacy and how” for more information. 

Always stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest trends online by subscribing to our newsletter where we talk about trending tech and social media news weekly! In the meantime, check out our Instagram and TikTok @thesocialinst for tips, trends, and highlights when it comes to social media. 

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.