Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Are fraud victims nothing more than animals? Critiquing the propagation of “pig butchering” (Sha Zhu Pan, 杀猪盘)

Whittaker, Jack M., Lazarus, Suleman ORCID: 0000-0003-1721-8519 and Corcoran, Taidgh (2024) Are fraud victims nothing more than animals? Critiquing the propagation of “pig butchering” (Sha Zhu Pan, 杀猪盘). Journal of Economic Criminology, 3. ISSN 2949-7914

[img] Text (Are fraud victims nothing more than animals) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (736kB)

Identification Number: Are fraud victims nothing more than animals


This is a theoretical treatment of the term "Sha Zhu Pan" (杀猪盘) in Chinese, which translates to “Pig-Butchering” in English. The article critically examines the propagation and validation of "Pig Butchering," an animal metaphor, and its implications for the dehumanisation of victims of online fraud across various discourses. The study provides background information about this type of fraud before investigating its theoretical foundations and linking its emergence to the dehumanisation of fraud victims. The analysis highlights the disparity between academic literature, subjected to rigorous peer-review processes, and sensationalised narratives prevalent in the media. While academic works subject "pig butchering" to critical scrutiny and refrain from endorsing derogatory terms to depict fraud victims, numerous media outlets employ this term uncritically, further worsening the predicament of these victims. "Pig butchering" is firmly rooted in the concept of dehumanisation, and this article underscores how language moulds perceptions of fraud and behaviour, extending to the development of preventive strategies. The role of law enforcement agencies in generating and disseminating materials is also a central theme, emphasising their responsibility as trusted sources of information. We suggest that these agencies should adopt non-victim shaming language to encourage victims to report crimes and alleviate the stigma attached to victimisation. Additionally, the article offers valuable cross-cultural insights by comparing metaphors from Chinese and Nigerian contexts. This comparative analysis enriches our comprehension of the global dimensions of online fraud and its cultural diversities, highlighting the substantial impact of language on perceptions and behaviours. We advocate for a departure from victim-blaming tendencies perpetuated by select media outlets, urging a more compassionate and accurate portrayal of those affected by online fraud. We, therefore, call for a more empathetic and accurate portrayal of individuals affected by online fraud, aligning with the broader objective of promoting understanding and support for these victims.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: K Law
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2024 11:48
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:20

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics