Baghdad shuts advertising screens after porn screening

AFP , Sunday 20 Aug 2023

Iraqi authorities on Sunday ordered the shutdown of LED advertisement screens installed across Baghdad after a hacker managed to show a pornographic film on one, security forces said, announcing the arrest of a suspect.

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File Photo- - Cars queue in traffic on a road leading to the entrance of Baghdad s Green Zone.AFP

 

On Saturday evening, "a person managed to hack into an advertising screen in Uqba bin Nafia Square", a major intersection at the centre of the Iraqi capital, a security source who requested anonymity told AFP.

The hacker "showed a pornographic film for several minutes before we cut the power cable," he said.

Videos of the pornographic film being screened as cars passed by in central Baghdad were widely shared on social media.

These "immoral scenes" prompted the authorities to "turn off all advertising screens in Baghdad" while they review security measures, explained the security official.

The interior ministry also announced in a statement that a suspect had been arrested, without giving details.

Several screens that usually show advertisements for household goods or political candidates before elections were switched off on Sunday morning, according to an AFP photographer.

Largely conservative Iraq announced in 2022 that it was planning to block pornographic websites, but many have been left accessible.

The Iraqi government has targeted several YouTubers and TikTokers since last year, accusing them of sharing "indecent content" that goes "against morals and traditions".

Some of them have been imprisoned, including a young woman who posted videos dancing to pop music.

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