April 3, 2020

Sharing Online Images: an interview with Dr Michael Salter

In this podcast Alan Collins and Dr Michael Salter, Associate Professor of Criminology at The University of New South Wales, discuss the risks associated with posting supposedly private images online.

Alan asks the question whether posting private and intimate images is now seen as acceptable behaviour? Dr Salter in answering this question highlights research in this area and how paedophiles are able to exploit this behaviour by gaining access to children. Alan highlights that IICSA as part of its research, revealed that children and young people come under pressure to share images. The research also shows however, that they have considerable insight and that there is much to learn from their insights.  

Before the invention of the smartphone, child abuse images were created by adults and Alan recalls a case that he worked on called 'Green Field House' where in the 1960's, boys from this institution appeared in pornographic photographs and films which were clandestinely commercially produced. So in one sense this is not a new problem but now a radically developing and different one. Children and young people engaging in the sharing of images maybe doing so innocently, maybe naively and consensually. What is of further concern is that there maybe coercion. The research points to pressure to conform and engage, and that can become coercive. All of this has considerable ramifications because it can lead to both physical and psychological harm for the young people concerned.

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