Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

May 2015

Publication Title

Justice Quarterly


Criminal Careers, Survival Analysis, Child Pornography, Cybercrime, Web-crawler




Publically accessible, illegal, websites represent an additional challenge for control agencies, but also an opportunity for researchers to monitor, in real time, changes in criminal careers. Using a repeated measures design, we examine evolution in the networks that form around child exploitation (CE) websites, over a period of 60 weeks, and determine which criminal career dimensions predict website failure. Network data were collected using a custom-designed web-crawler. Baseline survival rates were compared to networks surrounding (legal) sexuality and sports websites. Websites containing CE material were no more likely to fail than comparisons. Cox regression analyses suggest that increased volumes of CE code words and images are associated with premature failure. Websites that are more popular have higher odds of survival. We show that traditional criminal career dimensions can be transferred to the context of online CE and constitute some of the key determinants of an interrupted career.


This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2015, available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07418825.2015.1046393

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Criminology Commons