chapter  13
16 Pages

Usenet Newsgroups, Child Pornography, and the Role of Participants

The phenomenon of pedophile networks is not new: child pornography networks existed long before the internet was available to the public (Lanning, 1984; Burgess, 1984; Burgess & Hartman, 1987; Lanning & Burgess, 1989; Tate, 1992), but became increasingly important with the expansion of information technologies in the mid-1990s. According to Hanson and Scott (1996), research on this phenomenon, because of the organized and collaborative aspect of this type of illegal activity, necessitates a comprehensive study of the network’s internal characteristics. However, perhaps because those who use child pornography are often described as isolated, less socially skilled (Corriveau & Fortin, 2011), and unable to openly discuss their deviance, there are few studies that specifically address the question of how communities devoted to child pornography are structured.