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INVESTIGATING OFFENDER TYPOLOGIES AND VICTIM VULNERABILITIES IN ONLINE CHILD GROOMING

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posted on 2023-12-02, 17:25 authored by Siva sahitya SimhadriSiva sahitya Simhadri

One of the issues on social media that is expanding the fastest is children being exposed to predators online [ 1 ]. Due to the ease with which a larger segment of the younger population may now access the Internet, online grooming activity on social media has grown to be a significant social concern. Child grooming, in which adults and minors exchange sexually explicit text and media via social media platforms, is a typical component of online child exploitation. An estimated 500,000 predators operate online every day. According to estimates, Internet chat rooms and instant messaging are where 89% of sexual approaches against children take place. The child may face a variety of unpleasant consequences following a grooming event, including shame, anger, anxiety, tension, despair, and substance abuse which make it more difficult for them to report the exploitation. A substantial amount of research in this domain has focused on identifying certain vulnerabilities of the victims of grooming. These vulnerabilities include specific age groups, gender, psychological factors, no family support, and lack of good social relations which make young people more vulnerable to grooming. So far no technical work has been done to apply statistical analysis on these vulnerability profiles and observe how these patterns change between different victim types and offender types. This work presents a detailed analysis of the effect of Offender type (contact and fantasy) and victim type (Law Enforcement Officers, Real Victims and Decoys (Perverted Justice)) on representation of different vulnerabilities in grooming conversations. Comparison of different victim groups would provide insights into creating the right training material for LEOs and decoys and help in the training process for online sting operations. Moreover, comparison of different offender types would help create targeted prevention strategies to tackle online child grooming and help the victims.

History

Degree Type

  • Master of Science

Department

  • Computer and Information Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

TATIANA R. RINGENBERG

Additional Committee Member 2

JOHN A. SPRINGER

Additional Committee Member 3

JULIA M. RAYZ

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