By Petter Gottschalk

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The digital information about the person creates an image of the person, which we call the electronic double. The way in which a groomer is perceived by a child on the Internet is thus dependent both on the information the person provides and the image this information creates in the child’s mind. Even if the groomer is completely honest in all communication with the child, the child may perceive the man as very different from reality and maybe similar to someone the child already knows. Also the man may perceive the child and create an electronic double of the child in his head, which can be far removed from reality, but which may serve his fantasy.

The real person can change his or her electronic double and make it more or less similar to the real self. The most obvious change is age, where a groomer may claim to be younger than he actually is. This requires consistency in all other information, so that the presented age matches other information about the person. Similarly, children may claim to be older than they actually are. 39 Child Grooming Case Policing Cyber Crime 10. Information asymmetry. Information asymmetry is often reduced on the Internet.

The Internet acts as a distribution channel for products that are information bits, such as software, music, video, news, tickets and money. There is a replacement effect if the Internet is used to serve the same deliveries, which were serviced by the old physical distribution channel. There is an extension effect if the Internet is used by more people and for new services (Afuah and Tucci, 2003). When grooming children, the potential offender may use the Internet not only for communications. He can also use it to send gifts and other digital items that the child might be interested in.

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