SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The market for personal broadcasting that allows ordinary individuals to broadcast themselves on the internet is rapidly growing.
Afreeca TV was once what most Koreans associated with personal broadcasting. The name of this internet television service, which is an acronym for “Any FREE broadCAsting,” suggests just that; anybody, anywhere, at any time can broadcast themselves or their content for free.
There are now more than a few mobile apps that offer similar services, and many with extremely low barriers for entry, allowing even elementary school students with a smartphone to freely make use of the platforms.
Many of the apps are operated by smaller businesses, sometimes from overseas, meaning they lack proper monitoring systems to look out for any illicit contents. The fact that they operate with a system where viewers send hosts “gifts” that can be exchanged for cash adds to the concerns that there is much room for “indecent” programs to thrive.
In fact, Afreeca TV has faced criticism over the years not only for lewd broadcasts, but also for hosts humiliating disabled individuals, promoting criminal activities, and broadcasting while driving.
The Korea Communications Standards Commission currently has only 69 employees dedicated to monitoring these apps. The lack of manpower compels them to only focus on services that have or are reported to have violated legal guidelines.
A total of 718 cases of personal broadcasts were subject to the commission’s deliberation process last year, with the KCSC sending a correction request to the service providers for only 55 of them.
“Despite the increasing number of personal broadcasting services, there is not enough personnel to monitor all content,” said a KCSC official. “We understand that lewd broadcasts are secretly taking place on these services, and we plan to strengthen our monitoring system.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)