Online grooming is an activity developed via the Internet and centred on the communicative interaction between an adult and a minor. To date, research on the linguistic characteristics of these interactions has failed to produce an integrative account of how online grooming unfolds. A better characterisation of the processes and strategies employed in online grooming communication is essential to improve our understating of this activity. This paper presents the first validated model of online grooming discourse (MOGD, Lorenzo-Dus, Izura & Pérez-Tattam, 2016), where forty-six chat-log conversations from convicted groomers were analysed and contrasted against the communicative processes proposed by the model. Results showed that the MOGD provides a valid account of grooming conversations and is, therefore, a useful tool to understand the communicative behaviour of online groomers. The model characterises online grooming linguistic behaviour in three phases where the grooming is secured over a period of entrapment. During the entrapment, developing the trust of the child, obtaining sexual gratification and determining the levels of isolation of the minor are the core processes of the grooming behaviour. In addition, approaching the child for a potential offline meeting and checking his/ her compliance emerged as peripheral processes with important functions and implications.
|Publication status||Submitted - 4 Aug 2021|