ADAPT researcher at TU Dublin, Dr Susan McKeever, along with her colleague Dr Christina Thorpe, have been awarded funding from Unicef’s Tech Coalition’s Safe Online Research fund for their project, N-Light, which aims to discover child grooming and abuser activities.
The project aims to uncover patterns of online child sexual exploitation through national helpline and hotline analysis of caseloads. Through the project, the researchers will develop a deployable tool to reveal the patterns of online child sexual exploitation (CSEA) using innovative machine learning techniques to advance global understanding of trends in perpetrator behaviour.
The N-Light project will be done in collaboration with the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) and Hotline.ie, the Irish national reporting centre where members of the public can securely report concerns in respect of illegal content online, especially CSEA material. Once tested, the finalised project will be made available to other hotlines in the INHOPE network and child agencies to be used to combat CSEA.