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


Prichard, J and Scanlan, J and Krone, T and Spiranovic, C and Watters, P and Wortley, R, Warning messages to prevent illegal sharing of sexual images: results of a randomised controlled experiment, Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice, 647 pp. 1-15. ISSN 1836-2206 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Australian Institute of Criminology 2022

DOI: doi:10.52922/ti78559


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cybercrime, crime prevention, child sexual exploitation material
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Cybercrime
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Crime prevention
UTAS Author:Prichard, J (Associate Professor Jeremy Prichard)
UTAS Author:Scanlan, J (Dr Joel Scanlan)
UTAS Author:Spiranovic, C (Dr Caroline Spiranovic)
ID Code:150585
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Australian Institute of Health Service Management
Deposited On:2022-06-21
Last Modified:2022-07-19
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