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The first conviction of cyberflashing under the Online Safety Bill in England and Wales, which was directly informed by UCL research evidencing the online harms of a ‘dangerously normalised’ practice.

The Bill’s introduction meant that ‘cyberflashing’ became a criminal offence in January this year as part of the Online Safety Act.  

UCL researchers Professor Jessica Ringrose and Kaitlyn Regehr (then University of Kent) teamed up with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the School of Sexuality Education to investigate teenager’s experiences of non-consensual image sharing of a sexual nature. 

Their findings have now led to the UK government recognising this practice as cyberflashing, and in turn understanding it is a form of sexual harassment. Furthermore the Bill is significant for recognising the connection between this practice and other harms, from depression and anxiety among teens to serious acts of sexual violence and abuse.

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