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

Jeremy Prichard, Joel Scanlan, Tony Krone, Caroline Spiranovic, Paul Watters, Richard Wortley

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian Institute of Criminology
Number of pages15
Volume647
ISBN (Electronic)9781922478559
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022

Publication series

NameTrends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice
PublisherAustralian Institute of Criminology
ISSN (Print)1836-2206

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