By Leonardo Cervantes
Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror, is a chilling true crime documentary on the internet exploitation of young women. The internet has changed the lives of millions forever. Information and access are faster and more attainable than ever.
“Cyber Hell” showed one of the biggest downsides of the internet by making blackmailing someone easier than ever. Some despicable human beings that went by the name of Baksa and GodGod were among the most popular leaders of these degrading chat rooms.
The documentary film showed how quickly young women that are poor and eager for work get taken advantage of. Baksa would lure the victims into downloading an app called Telegram, he would then contact the victims claiming he was a broker and ask the victims for sample photos.
Baksa would then ask for the victim’s bank account and other details to wire them money. So the victims gave him their personal info including their IDs. With all of this info, he would quickly be able to find where they live and begin to take advantage of them.
That’s when he would blackmail them to send more revealing photos. When the victims didn’t perform the grotesque acts Baksa was demanding he would invite dozens of other users to harass the victims. Many minors and young women were then blackmailed into creating sexually inappropriate videos.
While the videos aren’t shown the film details some of the acts these sick individuals made women do like licking the bathroom floor or writing inappropriate words across their bodies amongst other more degrading acts. The victim’s personal info was used against them to comply with their sick demands.
It’s difficult to enjoy this documentary but it was well directed. Many of the unspeakable things will be blurred but viewers will get a sense of what was happening. The actual victims’ names and faces are also concealed in order to protect them. While uncomfortable to think of, director Jin-sung Choi provides viewers with a visualization of how young women and teenagers are blackmailed into creating explicit content.
It was an interesting choice that Choi went with as he focused on how the criminals lured innocent women and forced them to act out their evil deeds instead of focusing on the victims. It’s a good way to highlight some uncomfortable realities of social media and bring awareness to parents and women to be careful on the internet and not give out personal information.
While the acts are despicable the film does a great job of keeping viewers engaged. Cybercrimes have drastically risen following the increase in social media. This is one case in Korea that went viral in early 2020. It’s chilling to think about how some of these sick individuals misuse the intended purpose of social media apps in order to exploit their victims. Unfortunately, it’s a terrifying reality that some users use Telegram among other social media apps that are used in order to blackmail young teens and women.
Rated TV-MA, the film runs one hour 45 minutes and is available to watch on Netflix.