2022-09Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/25228
'Biodynamically cultivated hash, confidentially': information sharing on the dark web
This article analyses the marketing mechanisms of Dark Web drug trade focusing on advertising as information sharing. Key research questions are 1) vendors use to convince the potential customers about the quality and service, 2) what kind of arguments do vendors try to build and how they do it? and 3) what kind of information is shared when illegal goods are advertised. The data were collected from Utopia, which is an archive of the Finnish cryptomarket called Sipulimarket. The sample contained all advertisements from December 6, 2019 to March 19, 2020. All the advertisements were analysed by using a qualitative content analysis. Four main elements on which the marketing speech is based are 1) quality and 2) effects of the drugs (which we discuss here together), 3) price and 4) persuasiveness of the vendor. Together with the name of “drug store”, they make up the image. These elements are the types of information shared mostly when convincing customers about the products. In advertisements both persuasiveness and informative contents were shared. By understanding the mechanisms used in illicit communication happening in the Dark Web, we get a new perspective on sharing information that requires anonymity.
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