This briefing uses insight from Childline counselling sessions and NSPCC helpline contacts to highlight the experiences of young people who have viewed legal but harmful content online.
There is no official definition for legal but harmful content. The term is used to describe images, words and videos that are legal to create and view but have a high risk of causing physical or psychological damages or injury.
This briefing focuses on pornography and material which promotes or glorifies eating disorders, self-harm and suicide.
Key themes include:
NSPCC (2022) Children's experiences of legal but harmful content online. London: NSPCC.
Are you aware of how children use the internet? Take our e-safety training to help you keep the children and young people you work with safe online.
Learn what steps you need to take to respond appropriately to incidents of sharing nudes or semi-nudes with our CPD certified elearning course.
Online safety should form a key part of schools' and colleges' safeguarding and child protection measures. Find out more about policies and procedures, IT safety, teaching resources, social media and supporting parents.
Childline is the UK’s free, 24-hour service for children and young people. Run by the NSPCC, Childline gives children and young people up to the age of 19 confidential support with whatever is worrying them.
Find out more about the calls and contacts received by our helpline services.
The NSPCC Helpline can help with safeguarding situations you could face at work. Maybe you need advice and support, or some simple reassurance on a current safeguarding incident.