I was shocked when I originally followed a story on the Nth Room scandal in Korea in 2020. It was appalling how women, mostly in their teens were victimized by a scam that later turned them into helpless sex slaves at the mercy of thousands of faceless sadistic perverts who paid money to see them debase themselves for viewer entertainment. It was natural for me to watch CyberHell: Exposing An Internet Horror, a documentary filmed by Netflix on the case when it came out.
Personally, I thought Netflix did a pretty good job with the documentary. The approach was very systematic, interviewing the original people who covered the story and did the investigation. However, I was shocked by how lightly the police took the matter, so much so that it progressed to such a rampant level before the ringleaders were finally taken down.
First, it was shocking how a group of student journalists were more invested in the investigation more than the actual journalists. I get that the journalists were already afraid of compromising their families’ safety but the Hankyoreh team could have badgered the police more in getting protection and pursuing the case. Team Flame was quite courageous. For two young female students to interact directly with the Nth room admins to get info to share with the police, took a lot of guts and dedication. But while some arrests were made, all the gains of their investigation were basically squandered by authorities who only took action when there was massive media attention.
Had it not been for the fresh interest generated by JTBC investigation shows, the case would have died and the women would have continued being victimized. By the way they were being abused, it would not be a surprise if any one them took their own lives. Baksa was evil, and Godgod was a narcissist. They arrogantly believed that they were too smart and above the law. They brand the women as slaves and get a kick from blackmailing them into compliance. They showed no remorse when faced with their crimes. But the evil did not stop there. The participants of the chat who demanded for more lewd content, who threatened to rape the women — these people were also complicit in the act. The fact that they only joined the Nth room for fun does not diminish their liablity. It actually makes it scarier since they take pleasure in harassing and demeaning the victims without a care for consequence.
Warning: CyberHell is not for those with weak stomachs. It is disgusting. It is vile and it is heartbreaking. Hearing the accounts will mess with your mind and stay with you long after the documentary is done. Having these demons behind bars is not enough justice for the women whose lives they destroyed. The torture that they subjected their victims to would stay with the women for their entire lives and their torturers deserve to suffer the same same, and even worse. I hope that karma gets to everyone who participated in this monstrosity.