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The Child Exploitation Economy

The internet can be a dangerous place through which many harmful and illicit activities are conducted. The illegal trade of child sexually abusive material (CSAM) is particularly heinous, with its production inflicting deep and enduring physical and emotional tolls on its victims. Moreover, its distribution perpetuates the victimization indefinitely, as once something is uploaded to the internet, it is virtually impossible to erase. Many think of the CSAM trade as something confined to the dark web and the black market. However, ActiveFence research indicates these transactions often occur on the surface web using mainstream payment services and applications.

The following report investigates :

  • The economy of child sexual abuse materials
  • The use of various payment methods used by bad actors taking place on mainstream, legal platforms
  • Context for this illegal activity so companies can better prevent platforms from exploration