D1.7 Open report on Victim and offender profile description report


The main objective of this deliverable is to interconnect all the information provided in the previous deliverables: literature review (D1.1), the interviews report (D1.3) and court sentence analysis (D1.5), to provide the Open report on Victim and offender profile description report (D1.7), the public version of D1.6. This aims to build a comprehensive report interconnecting all the information provided in the previous deliverables, aiming to help WP3 to implement most of the information in releasing an ecological evidence-based video game. 

We will show a summary of the key findings and determining factors for young cybercrime victims and offenders by gathering all the information collected via RAYUELA’s research framework, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, case studies, literature review and surveys developed in Madrid and Valencia. 

Although our findings show that it is not possible to build standard profiles for victims and offenders, we will develop the main risks and protective factors in online grooming (OG), cyberbullying and cyberhate (CB&CH), human trafficking for the purpose of sexual explotation (HT) and misinformation, deception and fake news (MD & FN). Together with the variables, indicators, and the descriptors that measure potential risk, we will also describe findings on the incidence, evolution, short and long-term consequences for victims and offenders post-attack. 

In relation to online grooming, the results obtained in the previous deliverables (D1.3 & D1.5) are consistent with literature review (D1.1). Firstly, we found similarities in terms of the sex and age of the victims, with a higher risk of being victimized between 13-14 years old and being a girl. Also we can highlight some risk factors that make young people more vulnerable to becoming victims. Some factors include: low self-esteem, poor family communication, sexual orientation, difficulty to make friends face to face, etc. Additionally, in the analysis of sentences and interviews we have been able to find persuasive strategies described in literature review, the most frequent being implication and deception. In addition, the results obtained from the survey show that female victims from 15 to 17 years old are more vulnerable to online grooming conducts. 

Secondly, regarding cyberbullying results, it can be said that previous deliverables (D1.3 & D1.5) are consistent with literature review (D1.1). Online bullying has increased significantly in the last decade as a result of the development of new technologies with victimisation ranging around 20%. Minorities 

(regarding gender, sexual orientation, provenance, religion, even proficiency in sport, school etc.) have an extra risk of becoming targeted. Investigation has shown that loneliness, difficulties in making friends, school problems and low self-esteem are risk factors that raise victimisation rates. Moreover, having a public profile and sharing a lot of personal information, sharing passwords or having passwords with low difficulty should also be taken into account in measuring victimisation and making prevention plans. 

Thirdly, regarding human trafficking with the purpose of sexual explotation results (more precisely loverboys or Romeo pimps), it can be said that previous deliverables (D1.3 & D1.5) are consistent with literature review (D1.1). In general, no specific profiles could be found for neither victims nor offenders, but some common risk factors could be identified. For victims, the main risk factors are problems with attachment, which renders victims vulnerable to the seemingly sincere interest the offender shows in her or him. Secondary risk factors included low self-esteem, low SES, impaired cognitive development and belonging to a cultural or sexual minority group. For offenders, the main risk factor included having negative views of women, having loose moral views on sex, low education, unemployement, and belonging to an ethnic minority. As to the modus operandi, deception is widely used, insofar as the offender seduces the victim into a (seemingly) loving relationship, thus making the victim dependent on the offender. It is also precisely because of this, the fact that the problem of loverboys remains often undetected and is very difficult to prevent. 

Finally, for approaching misinformation, online deception and cyberhate, 11 In-depth interviews were conducted with experts in the fields together with 8 focus groups with teenagers. In addition, a survey was implemented in Madrid and Valencia with more than 800 of students. Fake news related with young people’s concerns and interests have appeared to be the most commonly believed and shared. Although participants generally agree that traditional news is more reliable than social media, most of them tend to get informed through social media, even if they know it is not reliable. They rarely verify information and, when they do it, they use some strategies that might be problematic, such as checking the comments. The prevalence of fake news spreaders was not so high, being bigger between those who did not know it was fake than among those who did. While the first ones tend to have a higher use of the mobile and a foreign background, the second one referred to have less information about Internet risks. Both tend to be older (15-17) and share information because it is funny more often than the average. Both but especially the conscious spreaders were more likely to be cyberhate offenders as well.