lifestyle

'AirDrop perverts' on Japanese trains now a thing

32 Comments
By Rebecca Quin

Yesterday while I was browsing Instagram to distract myself from the grim reality of a packed Tokyo evening commute, an image of what was either a naked hedgehog or — far more likely — a man’s scrotum suddenly appeared on my phone screen.

There was a request to accept the image via AirDrop.

With no idea what to do but knowing the sender was watching for my reaction I made the most compelling gag face I could and jumped off the train as we pulled into a stop. Shocked, angry and with the image of a clammy ball sack etched into my memory, I came to the realization that I had been digitally flashed.

Relaying my story to friends after, I discovered that this was actually a laughably common experience. That’s right, the already deeply troubling issue of sexual perversion on trains in Japan had found a new, increasingly popular outlet: AirDrop. And it had a name! “AirDrop chikan,” sometimes known as “cyber chikan” — presumably for chikan (perverts) who don’t have iOS.

What exactly is AirDrop chikan?

AirDrop chikan is a phenomenon where somebody you don’t know tries to use Apple’s AirDrop function to send you a picture for kicks— sexual or otherwise. It only works if you have your bluetooth and Wi-Fi switched on, and your AirDrop is set to receiving from “Everyone.” Unfortunately, these happen to be pretty common settings for most of us, until someone sends you a zoomed in shot of their tea bags and you decide to get to know your settings better.

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32 Comments
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Don't you have to accept the file first before it becomes visible?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Burning Bush

Unfortunately, no. There's a decent size preview with an accept or decline option below it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I was in a cafe in D.C. a while back and someone had Airdropped a video of a voiced-over sheep falling down a hill to everyone with their iPhones open in the cafe. Airdropping memes is a trend in the US. I knew was only a matter of time before someone was dropping d*ckpics on the Yamanote line.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

With no idea what to do but knowing the sender was watching for my reaction

Um, how would the sender know to whom they are sending it to on a packed train? It just says X's iphone - you would have to know who X is before you could look at them to see their reaction when sending a pic to their phone.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Anways, people who don't want this should set airdrop to not accept requests from 'everyone'. Set it to a different option.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What to do if you are a victim of AirDrop harassment

I don't know how this can be considered harassment. If the person kept repeatedly trying to send it, then maybe. But if someone has their phone set to accept from everyone, they have the option to either accept the image or not, and if they don't, then how are they being harassed?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Yes,it is not necessary to open all apps on ones phone when on the daily commute - I don’t.

I’ll not have the indignity of receiving banal images as Rebecca did.

I hope she wises up.....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yes,it is not necessary to open all apps on ones phone when on the daily commute - I don’t.

Air drop is not an app - it's a feature built into the OS.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...how would the sender know to whom they are sending it to on a packed train?

They wouldn't know for certain, but if "RebeccaのiPhone" appeared as an AirDrop recipient on the sender's phone on a train in Japan, they could probably guess.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Supposedly if you have Airdrop set to "Contacts Only," then only those in your contacts list can see your phone.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center. On iPhone X, swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen.

Press deeply or touch and hold the network settings card in the upper-left corner, then tap AirDrop. If you're using iOS 10.3.3 or earlier, tap AirDrop.

Then choose one of these options:

Receiving Off: You won't receive AirDrop requests. 

Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device.

Everyone: All nearby iOS devices using AirDrop can see your device

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204144

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“AirDrop chikan,” sometimes known as “cyber chikan

Wow!! Just wow!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A bit dim from Apple if this is the default setting.

It reminds me of when they thought other people would want to see "sent from my Iphone" on email messages.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another reason to use Android.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Another reason to use Android.

Actually, Airdrop is one of the major things that keeps people ON ios. It's an excellent feature, and includes the option to disable people from being able to do this, so they don't have to go the nuclear option of switching manufacturers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wouldn’t it be funny if the person who thought up Airdrop was thinking this exact situation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

People are weird.  And modern tech facilitates them being so more easily and with less consequence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tech, Apps in Japan, and life just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Did this happnen to the writer Rebbaca Quin? Or is she just doing the story? Well I would be shocked and mortified too if this happned to me. I have made the change to my phones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To paraphrase my earlier post. Set AirDrop to "Contacts Only" and problem solved. No one will see your name unless they are known to you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is Airdrop a bug or a feature?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is Airdrop a bug or a feature?

It’s a feature, and a really handy one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bigger mistake: having Instagram.

Waste of time, narcissistic, voyeuristic, leads to over consumption, data and profile shared with advertisers and everything regularly downloaded to spy agency to update your profile.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland

It’s strange that Airdrop can be found on Apple’s App Store.

Obviously, Apple doesn’t know that it is a ‘feature’.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't know what that app is, but Airdrop has been part of iOS since iOS 7.

Actually I just searched the app store - I found a game named "Air Drop". Maybe you should have actually looked at what the app was, before making that post.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reckon we should be able to set airdrop to 'female users -or blokes- only'. Contacts/everyone is soooo 2017!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, Airdrop is one of the major things that keeps people ON ios. It's an excellent feature, and includes the option to disable people from being able to do this, so they don't have to go the nuclear option of switching manufacturers.

The nuclear option?

A lot of i-Phone users might not know this, but you can even transfer files between androids also..!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The nuclear option?

Yeah, switching makers. You need to switch to an entirely different ecosystem, and it's hard leaving the ecosystem.

A lot of i-Phone users might not know this, but you can even transfer files between androids also..!

I was listening to a podcast just the other day with a guy who reviews phones. He is definitely not biased, he always carries both an iphone and an android. And he was quite clear that this is one area where Apple wins hands down.

http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/marques-brownlee

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"AirDrop chikan is a phenomenon where somebody you don’t know tries to use Apple’s AirDrop function to send you a picture for kicks— sexual or otherwise"

Some people have nothing better to do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Airdrop pictures of books on the train.

That will shock some people more than photos of ball bags.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never turned on Bluetooth unless I need to pair it with my car. It wastes battery and also bluwtooth has been proven to be easily hacked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm really surprised that it took this long for the pervs to think of this. Probably sends it to every iphone in range with a female's name attached to it. If they want to catch they guy, I suppose they could put him in a police lineup, they have a photo...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just a few salary men blowing off some steam as the commute between pressure cookers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland

An App is an abbreviation of application which in computing terms is software.

That software can well become a feature of an operating system but it is undeniably application software (an app)

Safari,FaceTime etc are also ‘apps’

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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