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Children Had Web Access to Sex Toy Ads

Posted November. 25, 2005 08:29,   


Pictures of various sexual aids were posted on a major Internet shopping website with an average of nearly 20,000,000 monthly visitors over the past five months.

Because the site requires no registration to see the pictures, it is likely that many underage visitors have been exposed to the pictures.

According to Internet shopping mall business watchdogs on November 22, the online market place called G Market is known to have created an “adult toy” corner below its sponsored links available to the public in July in violation of electronic communications business laws.

According to the law, an Internet manufacturer cannot show obscene or harmful product pictures to visitors unidentified as adults. This means that only logged-in adult members are allowed to have access to the pictures.

G Market let the general public at large view pictures of almost 90 sex toys.

An online marketplace is where members directly register and sell their products, unlike Internet shopping malls.

Because the products are immediately displayed on the screen, the online marketplace must strictly examine the legality of the products.

Auction, GS e-store, G Market and others have created trust and safety teams that monitor the registered products, but with over 50,000 new products posted daily, experts say that it is virtually impossible to keep track of them all.

This means drugs, guns, and intellectual property may be on sale on the online marketplace. The fact that children may be exposed to sexually graphic material is the biggest concern.

It is said that 40,000 to 150,000 youngsters visit each online marketplace a year, constituting about 8-10 percent of the total visitors.

Kim Hyun-young (35•Bundang in Gyeonggi), who visited G Market’s sponsor corner, said, “I thought I entered a pornographic site when I clicked the link,” and said, “I think it’s time we protected our children from these shopping malls.”

The manager of G Market, Koo Young-bae, said, “Products with wording like adult, drug, and others are automatically censored, but there are sellers who find holes in it. We’ll use this incident to improve our online marketplace selling methods.”

G Market deleted the link to the adult toy ads yesterday at noon after Dong-A Ilbo released the details of its investigation.

Seong-Yub Ra cpu@donga.com kimhs@donga.com