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Police wade in as sex-video girl gets notorious
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Police are investigating the origins of a 12-minute sex video that caused a storm after it was circulated online.

The video shows a couple having sex. The young woman in the clip has been fired from her job as a sales assistant for Kappa, an Italian sportswear brand. The store fired her for "tarnishing its image."

The video first appeared online about a month ago. Sunday, keywords relating to it ranked second among the fastest increasing top 10 keywords on Google China.

As the video gained notoriety, netizens argued about the ethics of what she had done. There followed a "human flesh search engine" hunt for her, in which Internet users tracked down and published her private information such as her full name, the place she worked, photographs of her and even her user name on QQ, a popular web messenger.

The video originally tagged the young woman as the "Kappa girl at Shanghai No.1 Department Store's east building," after the location of the shop where she worked on Nanjing Road. Fascinated netizens visited the store with cameras, trying to get a picture of her.

The young woman was besieged with questions and abuse but chose to confront them by starting a blog earlier this month on sina.com in which she defended herself.

Hits on the blog rocketed.

Last Monday, two days after her first post, she was fired from her job. An executive with Shanghai No.1 Department Store said she was employed by an agent of Kappa, although they declined to verify her name.

The management said it was forced to sack her as the store's name and photographs popped up every time a search was entered for the sex video. This had harmed the store's reputation, they said.

The woman recently posted on her blog that she does not want another job. Instead she wants to take advantage of her online infamy to make money.

She wrote on her blog that she will give interviews and exclusive news for a fee of 30,000 yuan (US$4,396), claiming that any website that posts information about her will greatly increase its hits.

When Shanghai Daily tried to contact the blogger, it was told to pay 30,000 yuan before asking any questions.

On her blog, she claims the video wasn't filmed or uploaded by her, but that she has now "accepted" the whole thing.

City lawyer Jiang Song told Shanghai Daily that any person who films, uploads or sends the video is guilty of spreading pornographic content. The video would be regarded as pornographic in the eyes of the law.

In her latest blog post, she says "the Internet has hurt me" and that she will seek the law's help to bring those who filmed and uploaded it to justice.

(Shanghai Daily November 17, 2008)

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