[Video Share] and [Album Collection]. Sexual photos and videos are traded on these apps, which were offered on platforms used on a daily basis. They are collected as part of voyeurism, hacking, and revenge pornography, and spread without the person’s knowledge….
The reality of the proliferation of sexual images, as pursued by Tsuji Tsuji of the NPO Tansa, a journalism organization, was also reported in FRIDAY Digital in an article entitled ” Unknowingly, Your Photos and Videos Become ‘Sexual Merchandise’…A ‘Hellish Structure’ Supported by a Giant Platform. The actual situation of the proliferation of images was reported by FRIDAY Digital in an article titled “Unknowingly, your photos and videos become ‘sexual products’ … a ‘hellish composition ‘ supported by a giant platform.
Last December, Tsuji published a Twitter account of a group of perpetrators of the spread of sexual images on Tansa’s website.
The Twitter account of the assailant group was made public…and the full details of the “strategy meeting” were obtained.
On Google, “Video Share” was downloaded more than 100,000 times, and on Apple, both apps were ranked among the most popular downloads.
But the police would not launch an investigation; Google and Apple ignored my letters of inquiry no matter how many I sent.
I resorted to new measures. I took a new approach: I posted on Tansa over 300 Twitter accounts of the perpetrators who were posting and spreading photos and videos on both apps. They were using Twitter to promote the photos and videos they posted.
The account holders were impatient. We hurriedly held a “strategy meeting” using Twitter’s Space feature, which allows for audio streaming.
I listened to the meeting live in the course of my undercover work.
The worst thing that could happen would be if the police were forced to act.
The meeting on the Twitter space of the perpetrators’ group was held after noon on December 14, 2010. The title of the meeting was “The Great Hide-and-Seek in the Neighborhood. There were 47 participants. The organizer was a man in Kansai with the account “Benzaiten,” one of my public ones.
He said, “It was written in that article that our profiles were scrubbed. So, the plan was to ruin it already.
Benzaiten appealed to participants to change their Twitter names, IDs, and profile information so that readers would not be able to reach the accounts published on Tansa.
It’s like, “If someone searches for us and says, ‘I’m reporting you,’ we’re not there anymore. There’s no one out there with that name. They’re like, ‘Oh, then what’s this article about? It’s bullshit.
Benzaiten was referring to an article I have been publishing on Tansa since November 2022.
He even proudly put his own face on the thumbnail.
As for the articles themselves, those people put a lot of effort into them.”
Benzaiten, on the other hand, is terrified of being identified.
He said, “For us, the worst thing that could happen is for the article to go viral or something and become a social problem, forcing the police to take action.
Audio of the meeting of the perpetrators’ group
Perpetrators who came to Tansa’s “space”
Just that day, Tansa was also scheduled to open a space on Twitter at 9:30pm. The theme was South Korea’s “N-ban Room Incident,” in which a group of perpetrators, mostly in their teens and 20s, threatened and sexually lynched their victims and sold their photos and videos on a messaging app. 260,000 people viewed and traded, with one man making 300 million yen. When it was discovered in 2020, public outrage erupted, and police arrested 3,757 people. The National Assembly amended six laws to prevent a recurrence.
Tansa aimed to cite the N-ban Room case to explain the similarities between the video-sharing and album-collecting cases that took place in the N-ban Room.
Benzai also spoke about this Tansa space.
He said, “Today at 9:30 p.m., (Tansa) is going to do a space. What we’re going to talk about is a famous Korean digital crime called the N-ban room. In short, it’s like an album collection or a video share (of themselves using).”
Benzaiten said, reassuring himself that he was worried about ending up like the perpetrators of the N-ban case.
The point is that the mother body over there is not the police or anything like that, but a group of journalists. They are journalists. So they don’t want us to run out of material, and I think they might even want to interview us directly.
Benzaiten is also eager to participate in Tansa’s space with a friend named “Erosuke-san” to ask questions. For those who cannot attend, he says he will record a screen recording.
As he declared, Benzaiten and Erosuke joined Tansa’s space. At first, they came against Tansa’s side for previous articles and defended themselves by saying that they were not doing it now. However, when we told them that posting and spreading sexual photos and videos without consent is illegal and that even if they were not doing it now, the statute of limitations had not expired, they retracted their objections.
Immediately after the Tansa-sponsored space ended, Benzai again opened a Twitter space for the group of perpetrators. It’s a sort of reflection session. I listened to this exchange as well.
I can’t really say, because (Tansa) is right.”
I can’t say, because what (Tansa) is saying is right,” he said. People asked me if I was worried about getting arrested or anything like that, but I kept telling them that if they were worried about that, they shouldn’t do it.
Benzaiten deleted his Twitter account a few days later. Erosuke also declared that he would no longer be involved in the spread of the postings.
Some of the Twitter accounts operated by the other perpetrators have also been deleted. A chat group that was instructing people on how to earn money through video sharing and album collections has also been closed.
However, some of them continue to post their messages, but in a way that cannot be seen from the outside. Some set their accounts to private and continue to post to tens of thousands of followers, or direct only users who have paid an “admission fee” to invitation-only chat rooms where they give away sexually explicit products.
New Twitter accounts of new posters are appearing one after another. The damage has not gone away. It’s like whack-a-mole, you can’t beat it, but it keeps coming out.
The perpetrators of the N-ban room incident have been punished more severely than previous sex crimes in Korea. Behind this was public outrage.
In March 2020, after the incident was uncovered, a “public petition” was filed with the presidential office demanding that the identities of the perpetrators be made public and that they be interviewed in front of the press. More than 2 million people supported this petition in just four days. This was the largest number of supporters ever recorded.
I will continue to cover the story thoroughly, but I don’t think that the power of the article alone will change the situation.
I hope readers will voice their anger at the current situation. I hope that you will share the articles with others on social networking sites, and share your own opinions.
This will give us the power to hunt down the perpetrators.
Reporting and writing： Mariko Tsuji
Mariko Tsuji became a member of Waseda Chronicle (now Tansa) while a student at Waseda University, and from June 2019 to June 2022 she also worked as a reporter for Toyo Keizai, writing about child abuse, psychiatry, and the reproductive business, etc. At Tansa, she created a database of pharmaceutical money and reported on the wasteful spending of the Corona Temporary Grant for Local Development. He has also reported on the creation of a pharmaceutical money database and the verification of the wasteful spending of Corona's temporary local development subsidy. He is also the co-author of "Reporto: Gulag Archipelago.