The Korea Herald


Over 240,000 illegal sexual photos, videos deleted this year

52,000 pieces of suspected child pornography deleted

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Dec. 29, 2023 - 14:55

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Over 240,000 illegally produced and distributed sexual photos and videos were deleted in 2023 in South Korea, an anti-digital sex crime organization said Friday.

A total of 243,855 items of such illegal content were deleted between January and Dec. 20, data compiled by the Digital Sex Crime Victims Support Center, an organization closely affiliated with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, showed.

The figure is up 30,855 from about 213,000 last year, highlighting a troubling potential trend of more people becoming the victims of illegal internet pornography. In 2021, there were some 169,000 illegal photos and videos, compared with 158,000 in 2020, 95,000 in 2019 and 28,000 in 2018.

Of the photos and videos deleted this year, 52,000 were suspected as child pornography.

It also removed some 27,000 items uploaded on illegal websites managed by foreign entities by teaming up with overseas portal operators and related agencies.

In light of the spike in online sex crime victims, the Gender Ministry said it would increase the number of regional counseling centers specializing in providing in-depth counseling alongside medical and legal services for those who have been sexually victimized. Four more counseling centers will be opened on top of the existing 10, the ministry explained.

In addition, the ministry plans to draft and distribute guidelines for all counseling centers.

“(The ministry) will continue to promptly remove any illegally produced and distributed photos and videos and do its best to help victims of digital sexual crimes recover from their damages,” said Choi Sung-ji, who heads the ministry’s Women’s and Youth Rights Promotion Bureau, in a statement.

The Digital Sexual Crime Victim Support Center was launched on April 30, 2018, to offer comprehensive support services for online sexual crime victims, including counseling, assistance in having illegal videos and photos deleted and post-deletion monitoring.