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When You Can't Tube... Impact of a Major Youtube Outage on Rapes

María Gibbons and Martín Rossi

No 133, Working Papers from Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia

Abstract: On Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, YouTube experienced a major and rare global service outage. Using high-frequency crime data from the U.S., we document an important increase in rapes in the 24-hour period following the outage. We then investigate various potential underlying channels that may link the YouTube outage to the subsequent observed increase in rapes. We explore a direct effect on crime, time substitution, an effect on drug and alcohol-related offenses, and the increase in pornography viewing, and the overall evidence only supports the hypothesis that the increase in rapes was driven by an increase in pornography viewing.

Keywords: sexual crime; sexual offenses; event study; social media; pornography (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2019-02, Revised 2020-04
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Downloads: (external link) First version, Feb 2019 (application/pdf)

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