We chat sex
We caught up with the producer and director of the documentary Webcam Boys, Mobeen Azhar, to chat about the many straight men performing together on cam for cash, the parents who support their son with his camming career and a man who inserts traffic cones inside himself…Your latest documentary, Webcam Boys, explores the world of men performing sexually online for cash, how did you even go about meeting these guys and persuading them to take part?And We Chat, which offers both private messaging and payment services, has been right at the center of that move—last year, a video went viral that showed a woman teaching another how to use We Chat and other chat apps to attract customers for sex work.Still, aside from the arrest of 11 people in an alleged prostitution ring operating on We Chat last year, there have been no widespread crackdowns on selling sex on the messaging platform until now. The fact that millions of Chinese internet users are turning to We Chat to post their thoughts, chat, and keep up with the news—thoughts and news that might not be approved by China’s censors—may be one reason for more scrutiny.There has been some academic work done on the increasing number of British men in the sex industry.Pursuing prostitution may simply be the best way to rein in the most successful social media giants.Prostitution, which is technically illegal but largely condoned and rampant in China, has been increasingly moving from red-light districts on to the internet and mobile phones, as it has around the world.
Chinese internet giant Tencent has closed 20 million accounts on its messaging app We Chat, 5% of the total, because they offered prostitution services, according to Chinese state media, who dubbed the campaign operation “Thunder Strike.” The move is part of a wider government campaign to create a “healthy cyberspace,” which has included cracking down on pornography and salacious fan fiction, as well as the American television show .
Last month, when announcing that messaging app platforms like We Chat and others would be cooperating, Chinese authorities said police would “hold service providers responsible if they do not fulfill their duty.” This campaign, we’ve pointed out, may have as much to do with getting rid of smut as it does with reminding the country’s growing privately owned internet companies to toe the government line.