Rise in naked selfies is a ‘cause for concern’

Taking naked selfies and receiving naked photos of others is far more common amongst young people than many might think, according to a new survey from Telenor and UNICEF.
(Arendal, 20 August 2018) Taking naked selfies and receiving naked photos of others is far more common amongst young people than many might think, according to a new survey from Telenor and UNICEF.

In a survey conducted by InFact/YouGov on behalf of UNICEF Norway and Telenor Norway, 40 per cent of respondents who were 18-20 years old said they had taken a naked selfie. 2 out of 3 said they had received naked photos of others.

‘These figures aren’t surprising, but do confirm that taking and sharing nude selfies has very much become part of youth culture. Nevertheless, it is cause for concern. Having photos of yourself spread and misused without your knowledge and against your will is a gross violation of your integrity, and a breach of children and young people’s right to private life. We need to put a stop to it,’ says UNICEF’s programme head, Kristin Oudmayer.

Blame themselves

It also emerged in the survey that three out of four respondents, who said they had taken naked selfies, had shared these photos with other people. One out of three of all respondents said they would have blamed themselves if their private photos had gone astray.

‘It’s surprising that there are more people who would have taken the blame themselves if their own naked selfies had gone astray, than would have blamed the person who had sent them on. It’s sad if young people think that “if you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound”. It’s the person forwarding the picture who has done something wrong. The person hit by it shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of responsibility alone. He or she has to find the courage to ask for help’ says Ana Brodtkorb, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Telenor Norway.

Many have regrets

The survey also showed that 35 per cent of respondents having taken or sent naked selfies regretted it. 63 percent of all respondents said they are not likely to share their naked photos in the future.

‘Since 2009, we have been talking about how important it is to stop and think before you take and share photos as part of the Bruk Hue (Use Your Head) national school outreach programme. Yet we still see young people sharing naked photos of both themselves and others. This is why we are now further developing our programme to include a specific focus on online know-how and nude photos. We are also inviting parents to our Digital Parenting School (, where we have experts and tools that provide good advice to parents who might find it a bit awkward to talk with their kids about nudes,’ says Brodtkorb.

Criminal at the press of a button

Taking, storing and sharing naked photos of others can be a criminal offence. 93 per cent of respondents said they knew this.

‘Young people are quite aware that what they are doing can be risky and illegal, but it is still taking place on a widespread scale. This means that we need to work on youth attitudes to and understandings of the consequences for the individual. Additionally, they need to be provided with more knowledge about the boundaries of private life, their own rights, as well as those of others. This is not solely the responsibility of schools. Parents and guardians must be a clear presence in children and young people’s digital daily lives, showing interest, care and acting as positive role models and guides,’ says UNICEF’s Kristin Oudmayer.

Main findings from survey:

  • 40 per cent of people have taken a naked selfie
  • 3 out of 4 people have shared naked selfies with others*.
  • 35 per cent of people have regretted taking or sending naked selfies*
  • 27 per cent have a naked selfie of themselves on their own device*
  • 2 out of 3 have received a naked photo of someone else
  • 63 per cent say that they will not share naked selfies in future

*The sample is the 40 per cent of people who said they had taken a naked selfie

How to talk to your children about sharing photos:

Visit where the experts from, Kripos and Helsesista share their best advice and top tips on how parents can talk with kids about naked photos