The last twenty years have seen an explosion in the development of information technology, to the point that people spend a major portion of waking life in online spaces. While there are enormous benefits associated with this technology, there are also risks that can affect the most vulnerable in our society but also the most confident. Cybercrime and its victims explores the social construction of violence and victimisation in online spaces and brings together scholars from many areas of inquiry, including criminology, sociology, and cultural, media, and gender studies.
The book is organised thematically into five parts. Part one addresses some broad conceptual and theoretical issues. Part two is concerned with issues relating to sexual violence, abuse, and exploitation, as well as to sexual expression online. Part three addresses issues related to race and culture. Part four addresses concerns around cyberbullying and online suicide, grouped together as ‘social violence’. The final part argues that victims of cybercrime are, in general, neglected and not receiving the recognition and support they need and deserve. It concludes that in the volatile and complex world of cyberspace continued awareness-raising is essential for bringing attention to the plight of victims. It also argues that there needs to be more support of all kinds for victims, as well as an increase in the exposure and punishment of perpetrators.
Drawing on a range of pressing contemporary issues such as online grooming, sexting, cyber-hate, cyber-bulling and online radicalization, this book examines how cyberspace makes us more vulnerable to crime and violence, how it gives rise to new forms of surveillance and social control and how cybercrime can be prevented.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Majid Yar
Introduction: Victims of Cybercrime On the Small ‘I’ Internet, Emma A. Jane and Elena Martellozzo
Part I: Conceptual issues
1. Victims of Cybercrime: Definitions and Challenges, Nicole A. Vincent
2. Theorising Power Online, Chris Brickell
Part II: Sexual violence, abuse, and exploitation
3. Gendered Cyberhate, Victim-Blaming, And Why the Internet Is More Like Driving a Car On a Road Than Being Naked in The Snow, Emma A. Jane
4. Sexting in Context: Understanding Gendered Sexual Media Practices Beyond Inherent ‘Risk’ And ‘Harm’, Amy Shields Dobson
5. Victims of Sex Trafficking and Online Sexual Exploitation, Kristine Hickle
6. Online Sexual Grooming: Children as Victims of Online Abuse, Elena Martellozzo
Part III: Race and culture
7. Online Racial Hate Speech, Jamie Cleland
8. Malign Images, Malevolent Networks: Social Media, Extremist Violence and Public Anxieties, Ramaswami Harindranath
Part IV: Social violence
9. Bullying in The Digital Age, Robin M. Kowalski and Gary W. Giumetti
10. Internet Suicide and Communities of Affirmation, Ronald Niezen
Part V: Conclusions
11. Conclusion Beyond Law: Protecting Victims Through Engineering and Design, Nicole A Vincent and Emma A. Jane
Elena Martellozzo is a criminologist and senior lecturer at Middlesex University, UK. She works extensively with children and young people, sex offenders and practitioners. Her research includes exploring children and young people’s online behaviour, the analysis of sexual grooming, online sexual exploitation and police practice in the area of child sexual abuse.
Emma A. Jane is a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Misogyny online, cyberhate, internet mobs, digital vigilantism ("digilantism"), and non-legislative interventions for technology-related crime are the current foci of her ongoing research into the social and ethical implications of emerging technologies. In 2016, the public benefit of her research into misogyny online was recognised when she was named the Anne Dunn Scholar of the Year.
"An important collected work that brings together some of the broader, social and criminological perspectives on cybercrime in its broadest sense. A welcome victim centric perspective is prevalent throughout and should provide food for thought for both scholars in the area but also, perhaps more importantly, those who deal with these problems in their professional lives."
- Andy Phippen, Professor of Social Responsibility in IT, Plymouth Graduate School of Management & Plymouth Business School, Plymouth University, UK
"Cybercrime and its Victims is a welcome, victim-centered addition to the growing literature on cybercrime. Cybercrime is complex to understand, detect, and combat, and is constantly evolving. But what is even harder is protecting those millions of innocent victims who are affected by it, in one form or another. Through this collection, Martellozzo and Jane show how both adults and children are victimised online. Regardless of where they live, at some point of their lives, anyone may be subjected to cyberbullying, online sexual grooming, or online racial discrimination, or they may be targeted as a result of personal information they have shared online. It is our responsibility as researchers and professionals to continue to explore the ever-changing world of cyber space and to ensure the findings have an impact on policy, education and possibly behaviour."
- Massimiliano Frassi, CEO, Prometeo, Bergamo, Italy
"In Cybercrime and its Victims Elena Martellozzo and Emma Jane bring together a coherent collection of academic contributions that engage head on with the ugly side of human behaviour on the internet. This collection uniquely focuses upon the cybercrime victim and in so doing, extinguishes the romance of technology by exposing the many callous ways in which cybercriminals can use it to exploit their victims."
- David S. Wall, Professor of Criminology at the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK