Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan

by Tansa
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan
Cross-border investigative journalism from Japan

Project Report | Nov 30, 2022
New investigation of digital sexual crime

By Mariko Tsuji | Reporter

Dear all,

First of all, thank you once again for your generous contribution to our project.

Tansa began a new series in November. Sexual photos and videos of individuals have been leaked to the app and traded without permission of subjects themselves. The photos and videos were collected through hacking,secret filming, and revenge pornography.  It even included child pornography.

Once they are leaked online, they are used repeatedly and never disappear. The victim's suffering continues forever.

The online damage has spread to the real world. Some have been personally identified and received harassing messages, while others have been followed on the street. One victim attempted suicide.

Photos and videos uploaded to the app can be downloaded with a paid key, and the contents can be downloaded. When someone uses the key, the contributor receives money. They therefore advertise the existence of the folders of photos on Twitter and online forums, along with the victims' mugshots and private information.

In our investigation, we found the 339 accounts had a total of 1,014,482 followers — there were over 300 “sellers” with over 1 million “customers.”

The problem is that the apps was offered in the Google and Apple app stores. This led to widespread use of the apps: it was downloaded over 100,000 times in Google's store and ranked in popularity in Apple's store. The platform served as a loudspeaker.

The police have not been able to handle with the sheer number of cases. In addition, laws to regulate platforms in Japan are lax and inadequate.

These problems are not unique to Japan. In South Korea, a large-scale online sex crime known as the "N-ban Room Incident" was uncovered in 2020. The stage on which women, including minors, were victimized was a chat application. Subsequently, the "N-ban Room Prevention Law" was enacted. However, as long as the system is maintained, there is a possibility that perpetrators will appear again.

We pursue the composition of the damage that is happening all over the world. In particular, we hold the platform providers who profit from business around the world accountable. We’ll work it with journalists across borders.

Without ending the system, the serious harm to women and children will not be broken. Please support this project as well.

Tansa released three articles on this topic.

(1)Photos and videos turned into “sexual products” without subjects’ consent

(2)The “keys” used to purchase sexual images in seemingly innocent apps 

(3)339 posters have amassed 1,010,482 “customers” on Twitter

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Organization Information

Tansa

Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @tansa_english
Project Leader:
Tansa Newsroom
Minato-ku , Tokyo Japan

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