The sexual exploitation incident happened in South Korea in 2019. It revealed the criminal groups were between the ages of 24 and 25. They used fraudulent methods to obtain women’s personal assets, forcing them to become sex slaves and sexually abusing them. There were more than 260,000 men sharing the videos and images illegally. For the pornographic videos and photos, there were at least 74 confirmed victims, 16 of whom are underage.
According to a comprehensive Korean media report, a group of men defrauded and abducted girls to become sex slaves in February 2019. They used the instant messaging software Telegram chat room to establish 8 chat rooms, including rooms 1 to 8, sharing those sex slaves carved their bodies with a knife. Sexual abuse videos such as “slave” or putting worms in the lower body. Around September in the same year, they changed to create new chat rooms under other names, and these 8 chat rooms called “Room N” disappeared.
Among many new chat rooms that appeared after the disappearance of Room N, the “Doctor’s Room” is the most famous. To share sexual abuse videos through the chat room, netizens must pay a certain amount of membership dues in virtual currency to join and become a member. The suspects who appeared as “Doctors” in July 2019 obtained women’s personal assets through threats, forcing them to shoot videos or photos and upload them to the chat room, and there were no mosaics on their faces.
These victimized women were initially found by Zhao Zhubin and others through soliciting aid dating and searching for “out-of-sequence accounts” (that is, amateur accounts with naked photos) on the Internet. At first, they obtained the addresses and phone numbers of these women through direct requests or through fraudulent links. Later, they used disclosure of personal information as a threat, forcing them to shoot more sexually exploiting videos and to participate in sexual assault and record the scenes.
As for the content of the film, there are content ranging from asking the victim to record masturbation clips, being sexually assaulted by multiple people, and even self-harming. The main organizer put the most minor videos in the public group. If viewers want to watch more content, after paying with virtual currency which is not easy to trace the source, they will be invited to enter the links of room 1 and room 2, and so on. And enticing viewers to continue to move toward more sensational sexual exploitation content. Among them, the “Doctor’s Room” is the most exploited room. After the audience paid 200,000 won, 600,000 won, and 1.5 million won, they could see more images of abuse, such as engraving on their bodies and being forced to eat feces. In addition, the administrator will periodically delete the link and upload it to the new room to avoid leaving any evidence. As a result, the video continues to flow.
In reality, there are things happening around everyone. The Internet gives freedom of speech but on the other hand, some people also use the Internet to create dark webs to appeal to more viewers and audiences such as this ‘Nth room incident’. Just to remind you, when everyone is being online, it is crucial to pay attention to keeping your own private information. You never know what those people can do with your personal information and data.
I haven’t heard of this case, but it’s sounds absolutely horrifying! That is the main reason why I’m so careful when I share sensitive information on websites, cause you don’t know how protected those websites are. I guess that is the love-hate relationship many people have with the internet; knowing that there are people out there out for your private information and are willing to use it against you.
Interesting overview of the Nth room incident! When I first read articles about it, I was shocked that people would tolerate, let alone enjoy, these kinds of content, but I guess there are all kinds of people out there… I do wonder if the internet puts distance on things, affecting our perception of things, and sometimes a bit too much?
I wasn’t aware of this scandal/incident at all and honestly I’m shocked! I think everyone has been warned of the dangers lurking in the shadows of the internet and been told to be careful with the data you share with strangers. However, scandals like this show just how easy it is to get roped into such a bad situation or to get access to scandalous materials. The fact that most of it happend over the internet makes it seem less alarming then it would in real life, I wonder if that impacted both the capturing of the victims and the onsumption of the made material buy the ‘buying customers’.
When looking at the technological side, it makes perfect sense that they used an app like Telegram, which is known for its protected and encripted environment, to establish these horrendous chat rooms without any outsider supervision. This signals both the positive side of Telegram (not having your messages be available to anyone else but the person you send it to) and the absolutely horrifying aspect it can facilitate.
It is indeed shocking! I cannot imagine such a thing happening in real life. You are absolutely right that we should be careful to post some personal information. Still, for me, a usual user who doesn’t know much about the IT sphere, it is easy to do something wrong by accident. I can fill in some information in order to buy something and then find out that this was a fake website. Or it can also happen without my fault at all: there are often leaks even on big and well-secured websites. Unfortunately, it is difficult to avoid this completely but we should definitely be aware of what we do and where.