Links between film piracy and child abuse?

I recently conducted a study with End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), looking at the relationship between child exploitation material and film piracy. At first glance, you might say, how are these things related? The answer, if you’ve been following some of my earlier work, is advertising: advertisers want to place their ads where they will attract the most eyeballs, and one area of significant growth is the number of people searching for child abuse material online. This can be traced back to the growth of the internet in general, the sexualisation of children, and the lack of resources for effectively policing the internet (to provide a deterrent). Organised criminals operate piracy sites and use them to generate enormous profits. Selling advertising space on these sites provides a steady stream of income for the criminals, and gives visibility to advertisers. Who can lose from this symbiotic relationship? The young children who are sexually abused and exploited for profits, that’s who. Read more at the ECPAT website.

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