Why there’s no porn in South Korea

The main reason that there is little to no pornography in South Korea is that the South Korean government believes that easily accessible internet is one of the major causes of sex crimes.

There have been some major moves that the South Korean government has made in the past few years in an effort to block pornographic content from their citizens. They have concentrated largely on internet censorship because that is the easiest way for the people to access this content. They are so adamant about blocking any and all pornographic content that they were the first country in the world to implement an internet censorship law called the Telecommunications Business Act around 1995. This is when the Internet Communications Ethics Committee was created. This committee monitors the internet and indicates which content they feel should be removed.

Many say that South Korea’s opposition to pornography stems from the government’s need to control what their people see and hear because they feel that they know what is best for them. Also, the country has a very large conservative Christian population and a deep sense of morality. Censorship comes in three main categories. Those categories are “pornography and nudity”, “subversive communication”, and “materials harmful to minors”. Blocking these things from its masses if of paramount importance to the government. South Korea is notorious for censorship involving ordering internet service providers to block certain websites that they deem inappropriate.

South Korea has modified their censorship policies drastically in recent years in an effort to keep up with the growing phenomenon of internet pornography. The fight to keep pornography away from its masses has become infinitely more complicated for the South Korean government thanks to the ever-rising popularity of the internet. The percentage of South Korean homes with high-speed internet access is at a staggering 90% while over 30 million of its citizens own smart phones. To keep up with the internet age and smart phone craze; South Korea is planning on installing software on smart phones that will block “illegal or harmful information”. They say that the law is meant to block swear words and cyber-bullying, but clearly targets pornographic content which they feel is harmful.

Banning pornography has obviously not had the impact on society that South Korea had hoped. The number of individuals arrested for rape more than doubled from 2000 to 2010. Sex crimes against minors quadrupled during this time with 180 cases reported in 2000; a number that grew to over 1,000 in 2010. South Korea denies that their strict censorship policies contributed to these numbers and claim that the numbers are high because more people are willing to report these crimes.

A major group responsible for monitoring pornographic content in South Korea are the “Nuri Cops”. This is a group of almost 800 volunteers who battle online pornography by reporting violators to the government so they can be shut down. This job grows increasingly difficult because many of the sites that they report appear back on the internet in another form sometimes within hours of it being taken down. Even though keeping pornography out of South Korea has become increasingly difficult and nearly impossible; the government does not plan on giving up the fight any time soon.

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