Every day, Internet users turn to sites like Reddit or 4chan to ask how they can access red rooms. There are even tons of stories of people telling their experiences and giving advice to future ‘spectators’. It’s believed that the red room term became popular after the Japanese animation where a pop-up ad kept showing on people’s screen with the question “Do you like the red room?”. If one tried to close it, a fullsized window would open with people’s names. Stories have it that the names belonged to people who had accessed the red room before and were found dead. This was the same fate that befell anyone who saw the pop-up ad. Red rooms are supposed to be a “myth”, a “urban legend”, and everyone who hasn’t themselves been on a red room-deep web will tell you so.
Are they just urban legend or are they truly the worst content over the Internet?

The real sh*t

Red rooms can be essentially classified as video portals. But also, they are hidden pages in which the viewer can watch live (streaming) a torture of a person and participate in such torture by contributing with ideas or requests. Depending on the money you pay, you can participate to a greater or lesser extent. Payment is made by using cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) to guarantee anonymity and avoid problems.

Looks like a common service very normal and safe, right?

The reader shall take me for a mentally ‘affected’ person right now because it seems that for accessing those sites you require a lot effort, if it’s a hidden service then those addresses should be more than restricted, and I am describing them as a YouTube premium service. Ironically this is not the case, and even though you will need to access Deep Web (there are many tutorials online on how to do it which is very easy frankly speaking), certainly you will not need secret deals with mafia, pay serial killers or contact satanic cults.

All you have to do is a quick Google search like this: redroom .onion link. Literally that. And yes, the mysterious, illegal and dark red rooms are indexed and available in Google.

After this, you will see tons of pages claiming to offer what I mentioned: torture to death. By the way this is not possible to demonstrate totally because many people ‘who had access that’ claim it is just a performance. But every room is basically the same, you pay in bitcoins to watch a person suffering.

I know all this sounds creepy and probably you are wandering why I brought this topic here but let’s explain a bit more, so you will understand some constraints.

First, it is offered to watch live and in high quality a video through TOR. Those who know or have ‘enjoyed’ the technical and safety limitations of TOR will know this is impossible. Due to the restrictions in terms of running javascript, flash, etc. It is ‘absolutely impossible’ to stream on the Dark Web. But suppose we skip magically all the technical and security limitations and we allow the use of flash and javascript to watch it from the Red Room page. Anyone who has navigated using TOR will know what the browsing speed is: super mega slow. To be more precise, as reported by TOR metrics on their website, to resolve a request of 1Mb it takes between 8 and 10 seconds, which means in the best case scenario, a maximum speed of 150kb/sec, that is, 0.15Mb/sec, so it is almost impossible to play videos, and we shall better not talk about live streaming.

Second, as we said the payments are made in Bitcoins. The money part is the most interesting for me, since I cannot imagine how the owners of such websites are promoting their marketing if you can find the links on Google or YouTube, because the idea that the Red Rooms move in a clandestine, private way is not contemplated. However, you will not find evidence or videos that are properly from a Red Room session to confirm their existence.

Additionally, if you execute a simple transaction analysis on any red room link, you notice there are very few people paying for the service, many times no more than 2 individuals, which means this is not really a good business model in terms of the efforts required.

So…are red rooms just urban legend?

Indeed, there are many websites in the ‘normal Internet’ showing snuff videos even without payment. Deep web has these videos as well, but they are stored in the onion sites. As we explained, there are many technical limitations to have services like the red rooms are claiming to offer, but does it mean they do not exist in reality? Honestly speaking this is impossible to confirm, because there are similar scenarios where this kind of content can be placed, so most probably we have them somewhere else. Deep Web has many horrible things that’s undeniable. Just, I barely think red rooms can exist there, in the way they present to us.