Consent, the term is usually used in the context of sex. Most of you probably will have seen the ‘Tea Consent’ video on YouTube, and if you haven’t, watch it, because it really simply puts consent into perspective. Long story short, if someone was unsure if they wanted a cup of tea, or decided ‘actually you know what, I was considering that cuppa, but I don’t fancy tea right now’, you wouldn’t force them to drink it would you?
The same applies online. If someone doesn’t want to share intimate images, it would be completely unreasonable to make them feel bad, or force them to in any way. Similarly, if you were to receive a nude picture from a partner or even someone you don’t know, would you think about the individual in the image before passing this on to someone else, what if the individual did not consent to have the image taken in the first place, let alone passed on to others to view. Having nude images leaked online and spread like wildfire across friendship groups and beyond has devastating effects upon the individual in the image, so you can see where the importance of consent comes in here can’t you?
As part of the Digital Civility project funded by HEFCE, the University of Suffolk will be providing Consent Matters training to students, to promote positive change and awareness around sexual consent. Remember consent matters, not only offline, but in online contexts too.
If you have ever had private or intimate content shared online without your consent, The Revenge Porn Helpline provides some really useful information and steps about what to do…
1. Keep calm, keep evidence
Understandably, first reactions are typically to delete the content, but try to collate as much evidence as you can, screenshots, URLs and messages.
2. Contact the Police
Inform the police, although it may seem daunting, revenge pornography is a criminal offence.
3. Report and Request Removal
After collecting your evidence, use the reporting tools on the host website or social media site or alternatively contact them directly.