S. KOREAN FIRM FIGHTS
Santa Cruise tries to remove sex videos of women posted online by disgruntled partners
TONY Kim has been paid to watch porn for the last six years, spending his days staring attentively at graphic videos of naked women and sexual liaisons.
He is part of an anti “revenge porn” force here tasked with finding private sexual images posted online without permission, and removing them.
The 27-year-old first applied for the role at Santa Cruise out of “curiosity”, he said.
“But I soon started to feel very uncomfortable, having to watch videos like this all day long, day in and day out.
“Now I’m used to this and feel nothing. It is just a job now.”
The bleak business is part of the so-called “digital laundry” industry thriving in South Korea.
Kim Ho-jin set up Santa Cruise in 2008, initially specialising in removing malicious online rumours or inaccurate information for local firms and celebrities.
But in recent years, a new type of client has emerged — women whose private sex videos and photographs were posted online without permission by disgruntled ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands or malicious acquaintances.
So-called “revenge porn” is a global phenomenon, prompting social media giants such as Facebook to deploy counter measures.
In South Korea, 7,325 requests to have intimate videos removed from the Internet were made last year, according to government figures — a sevenfold increase in four years.
This includes hidden camera footage of women in changing rooms or public toilets.
Kim explained: “Most offenders are teenage boys or men in their 20s who want to see pretty, popular girls out of their reach being abused and humiliated online.”
Around 140 women sign up for Santa Cruise’s services each month, according to Kim. meaning the adult penguins had to travel further to find food, with the chicks dying as they waited.
Yan Ropert-Coudert, senior penguin scientist at Dumont D’Urville research station, adjacent to the colony, said the region was impacted by environmental changes linked to the breakup of the Mertz glacier.
Surviving mostly on a diet of
Some have found footage of themselves — often via a male acquaintance sending them a link asking “Is that you?” while others are simply concerned that such images may have been shared.
Once Santa Cruise finds a video, the firm contacts the website operator — sometimes a gambling or social media site rather than a pornography sharing hub — to have it taken down, warning krill, Adelie penguins have been generally faring well in East Antarctica. But four years ago, the same colony, which numbered 20,196 pairs at the time, failed to produce a single chick.
Heavy sea ice, combined with warm weather and rain, followed by a rapid temperature drop, had resulted in the birds becoming saturated and freezing to death. AFP of violation of privacy laws.
Many comply quickly, but if they do not, or are unreachable, Santa Cruise will ask Seoul’s Internet regulator to block access to the content, which can take weeks.
“No matter how many times we take it down, it’s nearly impossible to delete such videos completely from the Internet.”
The service costs two million won (RM7,500) a month, almost two-thirds of the country’s average wage, prices that Kim defends on cost grounds, saying the monitoring effort goes on around the clock. But he fears the worst when clients running out of funds drop out of contact.
“When I’ve called them, sometimes their parents answered the phone, saying their daughter is dead.” AFP