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Quantifying the relationship between large public events and escort advertising behavior

NCJ Number
Journal of Human Trafficking Volume: 5 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2019 Pages: 220-237
Benedikt Boecking; Kyle Miller; Emily Kennedy ; Artur Dubrawski1
Date Published
March 2019
18 pages

The authors studied online escort advertisement responses to large scale public events using a time series anomaly detection framework.


They analyzed advertisement volume, approximations of advertiser volumes, and further devised a measure for movement derived from the spatio-temporal behavior amongst related advertisements. The authors’ results imply that a variety of events correlate with unusual increases in sex worker activity, including an influx of providers that are new to the respective event location. The findings indicate that there are strong market responses to some public events and that Super Bowl events which received heightened attention by authorities and news media due to a perceived link to human trafficking for sexual exploitation do not stand out amongst these events in the effect on the market that was measured.  (Published abstract provided)