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Warning messages to prevent illegal sharing of sexual images: results of a randomised controlled experiment

Prichard, J ORCID: 0000-0002-8481-7100, Scanlan, J ORCID: 0000-0003-2285-8932, Krone, T, Spiranovic, C ORCID: 0000-0002-5270-8719, Watters, P and Wortley, R 2022 , 'Warning messages to prevent illegal sharing of sexual images: results of a randomised controlled experiment' , Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice, vol. 647 , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.52922/ti78559.

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Abstract

Illegal distribution of sexual images by adults and minors is an expanding problem. We examined whether messages would dissuade men (18-32 years) from visiting a fake website offering access to free pornography to users who uploaded a sexual image of a woman. Participants seeking to enter the site (n=528) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. Group 1 went straight to the landing page. Group 2 encountered a text warning that sharing sexual images of people who appear under 18 years old is illegal; Group 3 received the same message with an accompanying animation. Sixty percent of Group 1 participants attempted to access the site, compared with 43 percent in Group 2 and 38 percent in Group 3. We argue that online messages offer a valuable strategy that can help reduce image-based abuse and the distribution of child sexual abuse material, including by minors.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Prichard, J and Scanlan, J and Krone, T and Spiranovic, C and Watters, P and Wortley, R
Keywords: cybercrime, crime prevention, child sexual exploitation material
Journal or Publication Title: Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice
Publisher: Australian Institute of Criminology
ISSN: 1836-2206
DOI / ID Number: 10.52922/ti78559
Copyright Information:

© Australian Institute of Criminology 2022

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