Recent research from The Internet Watch Foundation showed that 88 percent of 12,000 self-generated sexual photos and videos on the internet had been stolen and posted on porn websites. Unless you're Tulisa and can afford to hire a team of lawyers to scare everyone into removing the content off the web, it's likely that the topless photo your boyfriend took of you bouncing on a trampoline is going to be there for years to be enjoyed by multiple generations of sweaty men with clammy palms.
It's the easiest thing in the world to upload, but near impossible to remove – have people not caught up with this concept? I wanted to find out if sending photos of your dick to someone you think might have a passing interest in you is a thing of the past, so I asked the question to some people I found drudging through the streets of London: Have you ever sent naked sefies to someone else?
John, 18: I’ve had pictures sent to me, yeah, but I haven’t sent any of myself. Mostly from ex-girlfriends to try and get me back, but it never worked. I showed them to my best friend, but no one else.
VICE: What a gent. Are people who send naked pictures of themselves to other people naive?
I suppose. You’ve got to trust the person you send it to and you can’t really trust a lot of people. I think people should have the freedom to share what they want on the internet, but if the person in it doesn’t know it’s being distributed – that’s wrong.
Zena, 17 (left), Hannah, 18 (centre) and Rose, 18.
Rose: No, we haven’t.
Hannah: We’re classy girls.
Zena: I wouldn't do it after seeing what happens to everyone else.
Hannah: Yeah, I wouldn’t trust anybody. What if they lost their phone?
Has anyone you know had nudes sent around?
Rose: All the people I know who've had it happen to them was because they got really drunk and their friend got a hold of their phone and sent a photo to their own phone.
That's a bit creepy. Why do you think people take naked selfies?
Some people just do it because they want to, I guess. It’s a big thing on Tumblr. On certain Tumblr blogs, they have topless Tuesday, or something – people do that.
They'll regret that later, right?
Yeah, but I guess Kim Kardashian is a prime example. She slept with someone famous and made a sex tape and now she’s a millionaire.
Matt, 16: I’ve had a girlfriend send me pictures once or twice, but I didn’t spread them. I don’t think people should be allowed to put those kinds of photos on the internet if their partner doesn’t want them to. It’s up to them, to be honest – it’s their decision.
Do you know anyone who's had their pictures uploaded?
We’ve had videos sent around at school. Once it was a boy, he was wanking himself. He got absolutely taken to pieces.
Boadicea, 16 (left) and Taz, 17.
Taz: No. Why would you? It means that they’re all talk and no play. Why would you send pictures when you could actually be doing it?
Are people idiots to take those pictures of themselves?
Boadicea: I think, if it’s for someone else and it’s private, maybe that’s a little bit better. I’m not sure, really.
Taz: If they’re taking the photo, that’s their problem. They know there's a possibility it could get around.
Boadicea: It depends on how much you trust them; but even that can be broken.
Do you know anyone it's happened to?
It’s happened a couple of times at our school, but we’ve got a nice bunch of people at our school, so everyone thought it was a bit out of order. Everyone thought the person who sent it around was horrible.
Dave, 18: No, it’s disrespectful to yourself to do that. It’s your own private life. Plus, I wouldn’t risk it, just in case.
Do you know anyone who’s had their pictures circulated?
Once, in secondary school, there was a girl and a boy. The boy was filming her. That got sent around to everyone else in her year, then she had to leave the school.
Oh shit. Has anyone sent you pictures?
No, never. Me and my mates saw that video, though. It wasn’t really that bad; she was performing oral on him.
Tara, 21: No, never.
Do you know anyone whose pictures have ended up on the internet?
I don’t know anyone personally, but I know it happens; it’s always in the media. If you’re going to do that, it’s your own fault, really. It’s definitely really stupid and naïve.
Has a guy ever sent you a picture of himself?
No. I'd be really offended and run away. It would creep me out quite a bit.