Written by: Kara Haase
First off, I just want to start off and say there are no spoilers past this point, so continue to read soundly. Second off, I am going to raise the question to you, have you watched the series Squid Game? If not, I strongly advise you to. Squid Games is on its way to be the biggest Netflix show ever. It is definitely the biggest non-english show ever. Despite the show’s popularity there is some controversy circling the series.
Imagine this. You’re going through your day and you start to receive thousands of calls with people asking if they can join the game. What would you do? How would you handle this situation?
This is exactly what a Korean woman was asking herself when she started to receive 4,000 calls a day. So many calls that her phone just kept dying. She soon realized that the reason she was getting these calls was because her personal phone number was leaked during the series.
In one of the many scenes throughout the show a business card is given to one of the characters and on that business card is a phone number to “join the game.” We have seen this happen time and time again where someone’s phone number is leaked in a song or a show then called an unbelievable amount of times. I think everyone knows the song Jenny, also known as, 867-5309. Side note, I’m sorry I just got that song stuck in all of your heads for the rest of the day. Anyways, the owner of the phone number, 867-5309, and people with similar number combinations, received thousands of unwanted calls. It’s hard to live a normal life when you get spammed by random numbers for hours on end.
You may ask yourself, well how did Netflix and the series let this mistake happen? I would answer by saying foolishness. When phone numbers show up in American TV shows or movies, the production team usually uses a phone number with “555,” which is a fake phone prefix. The series did attempt to create a phony number by removing the first three digits, but people were still able to reach the phone number locally.
In this case, I disagree with Mill’s Principle of Utility because Mill would have believed mistakes happen and it’s not hurting the majority of people. Even though I know this mistake was not intentional, the outcome is still unethical. This foolishness created a complete mess for the women and other people with similar digits to her. The women who have been receiving these calls said, “It’s hard for me to go on with daily life.” She further explained that she has had this number for one then ten years and uses the phone number to contact clients. This is not only affecting her personal life, but her work life too.
The owner of the phone number has turned down two offers of compensation for the ownership of the number. I don’t believe money is going to solve this situation, especially because her phone number is how she communicates with all of her customers that give her business income. Netflix Korea came out with a statement addressing how they are going to handle this situation. “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes showing the phone number where necessary.” I believe this is an ethical way to solve this sticky situation and I don’t believe Netflix will be making another mistake like this in the future.