SEOUL -- Kakao, the operator of South Korea's favorite messenger app, has enforced a zero-tolerance policy for sexual crimes against children and teenagers after the country was rattled by the so-called "Nth Room" case earlier this year.
Kakao said in a statement that its messenger app Kakao Talk and web portal Daum would apply strong regulations on sexual crimes against children and teenagers and cooperate with law enforcement authorities if legal action is needed.
Kakao Talk with more than 50 million users is basically used by every South Korean smartphone user to chat, share files and information. Daum provides online community and web search services to provide private places for information sharing.
"Because it is a private space, voluntary reporting by users is necessary to implement our policy," Kakao said. Users can file a report through a report feature or contact Kakao's user report center that is open 24 hours. Kakao said that it would eliminate actual sexual activities that target minors and assertive behaviors intended to gain access to contents containing illegal materials.
The Nth Room case came to light in late 2019 when subscribed users at mobile chatting rooms created in foreign messenger apps such as Telegram and Discord were found to have participated in the creation and distribution of illegally filmed sex video files.
The video files in question featured the sexual abuse and exploitation of teenagers, who were threatened and forced to film and send self-filmed videos. Some victims were as young as elementary school students. Police acquired a list of Nth Room subscribers and arrested dozens of people. The investigation now focuses on those involved in the online trafficking of illegal sexual content featuring children.
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