SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Kigerl, A. (2018). Profiling cybercriminals: Topic model clustering of carding forum member comment histories. Social Science Computer Review, 36, 591–609.

Abstract: Cybercrime has become a growing business. The marketplaces for such businesses tend to be online forums. Much of the research on carding forums has been qualitative, but there have been quantitative analyses as well. One such type of analysis is topic modeling, a clustering technique that groups forum users according to the textual comments they leave. However, this type of research so far has been exclusively quantitative, without qualitatively examining the topics. The following study attempts to add to this research by analyzing the comment histories from 30,469 users from three carding forums. The results have revealed that users belong to one or more of 21 different topics. The topics are grouped into six broader categories, consisting of a customer base, identity fraud market, crimeware market, free content market, and two others. Descriptives are provided displaying how the topics are distributed across the three websites and directions for future research are discussed.

Journal Article 2: Patton, D. U., Leonard, P., Eschmann, R. D., Patel, S., Elsaesser, C., & Crosby, S. (2017). What’s a threat on social media?: How Black and Latino Chicago young men define and navigate threats online. Youth & Society.

Abstract: Youth living in violent urban neighborhoods increasingly post messages online from urban street corners. The decline of the digital divide and the proliferation of social media platforms connect youth to peer communities who may share experiences with neighborhood stress and trauma. Social media can also be used for targeted retribution when threats and insults are directed at individuals or groups. Recent research suggests that gang-involved youth may use social media to brag, post fight videos, insult, and threaten—a phenomenon termed Internet banging. In this article, we leverage “code of the digital street” to understand how and in what ways social media facilitates urban-based youth violence. We utilize qualitative interviews from 33 Black and Latino young men who frequent violence prevention programs and live in violent neighborhoods in Chicago. Emerging themes describe how and why online threats are conceptualized on social media. Implications for violence prevention and criminal investigations are discussed.