South Korea to Probe Twitter Porn

KoreaTwitterSEOUL – The Republic of Korea may block Twitter if the American-owned social network doesn’t clean up its act.

A special task force established by the Korea Communication Standards Commission is expected to begin scrutinizing the network in February as the result of complaints about Twitter’s failure to rein in pornographic tweets that can be accessed – and in some cases are made by — children.

According to the commission, 117 Korean citizens were caught distributing porn via Twitter during 2014. Of those, 33 were elementary school children, many of whom posted naked or partially clothed “selfies” to attract more followers, a spokesperson said. Compounding the problem: Twitter requires only an email address and a user’s word they are of legal age before allowing access. When an account is terminated for violating Twitter’s terms of service, users simply open a new account using a different email address.

“Even if you get caught, you can always create another account, then another,” one anonymous complainant told Korea Herald. “There’s no limit to uploading content and looking at it, nor to distributing it. This is why porn distributors are turning to Twitter these days.”

During a 2014 visit to Seoul, Twitter founder and chairman Jack Dorsey reaffirmed the devotion of Twitter’s Korean division to rooting out inappropriate content using “photo DNA” technology. Nevertheless, material that violates Korean law remains, a Communications Standards Commission spokesman noted.

The spokesperson also said Korean companies that violate decency laws are subject to a fine of up to 20 million won (about 16,000 euros); individuals face as many as three years in jail. Foreign companies are not subject to Korean jurisdiction, however, which makes policing their actions and policies more difficult.

Regardless, Korean officials remain steadfast in their desire to clean up social media.

“We will closely look into these media,” a spokesman for the Communications Standards Commission told Korea Herald. “We are aware of the problems. We won’t let this harmful content damage our children.”

 

About the Author

Anna Cahnda

Comments are closed.