Deepfakes and digitally altered imagery abuse: a cross-country exploration of an emerging form of image-based sexual abuse

Asher Flynn, Anastasia Powell, Adrian J. Scott, Elena Cama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Deepfake and digitally altered nude and sexual imagery is a serious and harmful emerging form of image-based sexual abuse (IBSA). This article reports on a multi-methods and cross-country study of IBSA across the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, with a specific focus on the creation, distribution and threat to distribute deepfake and digitally altered imagery. Our findings suggest this abuse involves poly-victimization and poly-perpetration, and is disproportionately experienced and engaged in by those with mobility and/or communication assistance needs, members of the LGB+ community, males, young people and racial minorities (perpetration only). In this article, we discuss the pervasiveness and harms of deepfake and digitally altered imagery abuse, as well as challenges in legal responses, policing and prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-1358
Number of pages18
JournalThe British Journal of Criminology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • deepfakes
  • image-based sexual abuse
  • revenge pornography
  • sexual violence
  • cybercrime

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