The National Press Workers Association is urging an investigation into an anonymous controversial 'tokbang' where reporters share illegal hidden cameras and sex crime footage.
A spokesperson from the union ministry revealed on Tuesday, "It's been reported that some reporters have shared illegal footage or prostitution information anonymously in a katalk chat. Sexual crimes have already become a serious social problem so the reporters shouldn't share this data obtained through coverage for purposes other than reporting," he said.
"There are reporters who are trying to cover and eradicate sex-related crimes. Reporters should adhere to the basic code of ethics for reporting and only use this information for reporting purposes. We plan to initiate a strict investigation into these allegations and will take legal action against those who committed such illegal acts."
This report first broke when the Digital Sex Offense (DSO) group posted relevant evidence on Twitter of reporters sharing illegal footage such as "Burning Sun leakage video" in a tokbang. The reporters also actively shared related links to porn sites where cases involving hidden camera filming of entertainers and ordinary people was posted. In the katalks, photos of a victim's death Ahn Hee Jung as well as sexual abuse victims from the Chungnam and Han-sam area were shared. They shared their personal photos, criticized their appearance and engaged in sexual harassment involving specific parts of their body. In addition, they also shared pictures of women who work at prostitution rooms or those that show up on blind dates from a dating app.
According to DSO, the 'Literary Room' requires a password for access. It is a small non-public katalk room where 200 reporters gather anonymously and share various information. To join this room, reporters will go to 'Blind → Information Room → Literary Room' [in kakaotalk]. Non-journalists are able to gain access using their email accounts but will need authentication numbers.
DSO filed an official petition for an investigation into the "South Journalists [DSO name for the reporters]" for the illegal distribution of footage in the National Petition Website here.
So far the petition has been signed by 21,241 people.