More than 50 men across China claimed that they have been blackmailed for money after their nude pictures were posted online with hashtag "hello everyone, I want to be popular."
Liu Feng (pseudonym), an official with a Beijing school and one of the victims, told The Beijing News that he was still shocked after seeing his nude pictures online, along with his personal information including his name, workplace and location.
Liu had a nude chat with a girl on WeChat, an instant messaging app, in September, and received several nude pictures of him from a man, who threatened to post these pictures with his personal information online, unless Liu gave him thousands of yuan, said the report.
The Beijing News revealed that a group of extortionists would first ask women to have sex chat with men, and then the women would solicit nude pictures in order to blackmail the men. If the men refused to pay, the group will upload their nude pictures and personal information online.
Since September 20, pictures of naked men along with their personal information have been uploaded on tieba.com, an online forum under Chinese tech giant Baidu. But they had stopped posting pictures by Tuesday.
Among the victims, some are government officials and teachers, said the report.
A Net user, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times on Wednesday that such pictures were usually deleted within a short time.
A victim told the Beijing News that the man who extorted him accidentally exposed that they got his information from express delivery services.
Wang Youyin, a Beijing-based lawyer, told the Global Times on Wednesday that posting nude pictures violated China's Criminal Law, which states that people who produce, copy, publish, sell or spread pornographic material for commercial purposes could face up to 10 years in jail.
Wang pointed out that the platform tieba.com should be responsible for preventing the spread of illegal information, adding that China should strengthen its crackdown on breach of privacy.