Sextortion in Popular Culture: Case study of “Double May"

Written by Stanley Ho

Crime issues are common subject for entertainment products in popular culture, like dramatic movies and television shows. Undoubtedly, crime news reports were important source for the production of crime drama shows. However, the consideration of producers is not only how real the stories are, but also how massively popular the shows could be. There should be a balanced formulation of fiction and reality in their content when they are usually presented as “realistic" or “real story adaptation" portrayals of the crime issue (Dowler, Fleming & Muzzatti, 2006).

In information era, the situation became more complicated. The news and entertainment products about crime issues were no longer monopolized by mass production. Everyone can self-produced a news report of drama about crime and justice in social media. The differentiation between producer and audience is blurred (Yar, 2012). Comparing with traditional dramatic movies and television shows, the creative product in social media may be a better choice for us to study the presentation of specific crime issues in popular culture.

Double May as a Code of Sextortion

CapTV is an independent video channel formed by a group of young people in June 2015. It aims at production of videos about social and political issues. The media image of CapTV is pro-democracy and social satire. There are more than 300,000 follower in their facebook fan page and YouTube Channel. In 9th June, 2017, CapTV published a new video themed “Facebook騙局:Double May大波妹" in facebook and YouTube. It is a short film about sextortion in form of fake news report and drama. It fastly got a huge number of like and share in social media. “Double May” in fact is an indecent term that describes a sexy woman body (大波妹in Cantonese). The producers created this term with imagination of gendered stories as a code of sextortion offender, especially the fake female perpetrators in naked chat scam.

In the video, potential victim was described as a careless and prurient young man without love experience. The narration of sextortion was closely related to appearance of female body image. The producers made it in a funny and entertaining way, but they never claim that the crime stories and value is true or right. It “successfully" attracted more than 100,000 views. “Double May" was constructed as a keyword about sextortion in popular culture now. It was commonly used by other news media like Apple Daily, Oriental Daily and HK01 in the presentation of sextortion. New media brought a different system of encoding and decoding of crime stories in the blurred relationship between producer and audience, as well as fiction and reality.

Source: Facebook騙局:Double May大波妹


Dowler, K., Fleming, T. & Muzzatti, S. L. (2006). Constructing crime: media, crime, and popular culture. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 48(6), 837-850.

Yar, M. (2012). Crime, media and the will-to-representation: Reconsidering relationships in the new media age. Crime, Media, Culture, 1741659012443227.



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