In China, you can get paid to look at (and then report) porn

Porn ransomwareNormally, watching porn is something people try to hide, not a job that can earn you $32,000, plus benefits and a daily breakfast of fruit and yogurt. But ChinaSmack found a job listing on Chinese social media Weibo for a “Chief Pornography Identification Officer” in Beijing.

The post looks for someone who can rapidly identify pornography and obscene websites, but Anquan Lianmeng, the organization looking for an officer, isn’t celebrating explicit material – it’s trying to block it. Porn is technically illegal in China, and the government has launched intermittent crackdowns to try and punish lascivious sites, including one from 2009-2010. That hasn’t stopped people from doing things like photoshopping party leaders’ heads on pornographic images, however, so it seems third party businesses have come forward to crack the whip on porn hubs.

The person who lands this job will have duties that include (as translated from Chinese by Sino Weibo):Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 5.03.59 PM

“1. Research and study pornographic videos and images, formulate criteria for determining obscenity

2. Deploy courseware on the standards of obscenity determination, and study materials such as educational videos on pornography.

3. Manage and rate pornographic resources (including BT seeds, images, and online videos).”

That’s a lot of looking at pornography for someone who ostensibly is supposed to be against it – and it seems that many people applying for the position are doing so for the money and novelty rather than a rigorous opposition to obscenity, since Anquan Lianmeng said thousands of resumes flooded in within days of posting.

So in Beijing you can get paid heartily to scour the web for scandalous stuff, but in neighboring South Korea (where porn is also illegal), the people who troll the Internet for X-rated sites do so on a volunteer basis. In Seoul and across the peninsula, people like Moon Tae-Hwa diligently hunt down pornography online as part of the “Nuri Cops” or Internet police. They’re around 800 members strong, and their mission goes along with a government initiative to punish porn peddlers – in 2012, over 6,400 people were arrested for distributing pornography.

Now, the “Chief Pornography Identification Officer” position is decently compensated, but it might be less titillating and more exhausting than the thousands of applicants imagine. It’s not clear whether this person will be looking at adult pornography only or if they will be on the lookout for gruesome child porn and other awful pockets of the Internet. But if they end up wading into the dark side, they’re sure to burn out no matter how much yogurt they’re given – Buzzfeed interviewed a former Google employee charged with looking at child porn, and he needed extensive therapy after his stint.

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