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Image by Christina Victoria Craft

Keeping young people safe online

Illicit drugs on social media

Illicit drugs are increasingly advertised and sold on popular social media platforms. This is alarming as exposure to risky online content has been found to correlate with viewers' own risk-taking actions.


My PhD research aims to understand and prevent the sale and advertisements of illicit drugs to young people on social media.


I am currently being supervised by Professor Shane Johnson, Dr. Marie Vasek and Dr. Enrico Mariconti.

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What I'm working on

Below you can find different projects that I'm currently working on as part of my PhD. 


Scoping Review

I conducted a multidisciplinary scoping review to understand the state of the academic literature on the sale and advertisment of illicit drugs on social media. After reviewing over 4 000 records, I extracted the data from the most relevant studies on the prevalence of posts, keywords used to refer to drugs, algortihmic methods of detection and characteristic of users. If long academic papers are not your thing, you can check out the piece I wrote for Volteface summarising the review!

First National Survey of Drugs on Social Media 

As the second project of my PhD, I am carrying out a survey of students from Year 9 to 13 across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The aim is to find out more about the experiences of teenagers using social media, and how seeing drugs on such platforms might affect them.  If you're interested in participating or helping out, click below to find out more. 

Criminal offences in AR gaming 

The fusion of digital and physical spaces yielded by augmented reality (AR) and location-based games (LBGs) have created hybrid spaces where in-game features have repercussions in the physical world. As a side project to my PhD, I am carrying out research to understand how specific features in such games could be maliciously exploited, and how we can prevent this and make online gaming spaces safer for users,. 

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