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Giant billboard in Philippines displays porn, Mayor orders shutdown




A large billboard in the Philippines caused massive stir on Wednesday, March 21, when a pornographic video was shown on one of the digital billboards flagging the Executive Building Center in Makati Avenue, Makati City, around 2 p.m.

The video which showed a couple having sex was played on the billboard at a busy intersection for over half a minute Wednesday afternoon, causing a lot of fuss among the motorists on the highway.

Mayor of Makati, Abigail Binay, immediately ordered the shut down of the billboard after the clip of the couple having sex was shown. However, prior to making the command, pictures and videos of the incident had been captured by motorists and passersby on their mobile phones and were shared virally on social media.

The incident at the major financial hub in the Philippines, startled motorists on one of the busiest major highways in the city. Binay disclosed that she has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the unfortunate event.

Binay also said the billboard will remain closed pending the results of the investigation. The investigation will include the billboard's owner, Philippine company Globaltronics, and its employees, to determine whoever was responsible, a statement from her office said.

Currently, there has been wide speculation online as to the cause of the gaffe, citing that the billboard was hacked to display babes porn using TeamViewer—a software that allows people access computers remotely.

Globaltronics, the company who run the billboard, have said that the display of the video was a "malicious attack".

The spectacle was captured by a shocked citizen, Mulong Sermonia, who was inside a vehicle when he saw the video playing on the digital billboard.

By the time Sermonia realized what was happening, he took out his phone to record the display. In the video shared online, a man can be seen on top of his partner, humping away. However, his face was not quite visible thus making him anonymous.

Sermonia said that he and his companions were laughing when they saw the video on the billboard.

“We were laughing when we saw it. Some who were riding motorbikes even stopped. A lady also stopped, and other drivers, including a driver of an L300 van, I think,” he said in a report.

Another motorist who saw the footage being played while they were driving to work remarked that it was ''hard to believe what they were seeing''.

''Some of the people on the cars around us started noticing it too when we started taking video. It was funny, and surprising at the same time. It was over very quickly. But it was still a very embarrassing mistake," he said. "I have no idea who could do that.''

Pornography is currently illegal in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, which also takes very strict measures in regulating its television and movie content. However, amusingly, despite porn being banned, adult website Pornhub said last year the Philippines ranked 13th in the world for daily visitors.

In 2017, a global UNICEF report ranked the Philippines as a top global source of child pornography, with around 80% of Filipino kids at risk of either online sexual abuse or bullying.
 
The State of the World's Children report titled "Children in a Digital World", was focused on the opportunities and risk children face online.

“Child pornography is a billion-dollar industry, and Filipino children are the ones being traded and exploited online. Children who are made to perform sex acts in front of a web camera will never get their childhood back. We must all work together to protect our children,” UNICEF Country Representative Lotta Sylwander said.

In the case study, a 12-year-old Filipino girl was forced to livestream sexual acts from her neighbor’s house, and being paid about $3 for each "show."

To counter the threats of sexual abuse, UNICEF Philippines continues to engage with social media networks, remittance agencies and internet service providers to create various policies to protect children from the sex trade, and curb other forms of sexual abuse.