What is grooming?

Grooming refers to a type of harassment of minors on the Internet. It is a set of deliberate actions on the part of an adult (usually through instant messaging programs through social networks) to establish friendship links with a child, to deceive and gain their trust by pretending empathy and other emotions , etc. with the aim of obtaining a sexual satisfaction by obtaining intimate images of the minor or even as preparation for an encounter with the victim.

Normally, the adult in question contacts the child from the deception that involves a change of identity, sex and age, and appears to be a teenager or an adult without any bad intention. This generally convinces the victim to perform insinuating or sexually committed behaviors before the webcam. When obtaining photographs or videos of the victim, the harasser begins to blackmail him (with the threat of distributing the material obtained through the network) or promises to give him gifts, in order to establish a more committed, closer relationship.

This phenomenon is closely related to pedophilia and child pornography on the Internet.

More information: “New technologies”.

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