South Korea is cracking down on selfie sticks, but not for the obvious reasons

Selfie sticks have kicked off in popularity recently, making it easier for people to take photos of themselves without it being an extreme close-up. Some people don’t approve of such sticks, and may be pleased to hear that South Korea is cracking down on them — just not for any obvious reason.

So how could they use the law to go after selfie sticks? Because they get in the way? Or perhaps because you could use them as a weapon? None of those actually. According to France24 the South Korean government is unhappy with them for being unregistered Bluetooth devices.

So the selfies sticks that are nothing more than just sticks are totally fine, but Bluetooth-enabled sticks have to be certified to ensure that they don’t cause interference. Any retailer selling them illegally will face a prison sentence of up to three years, or a £17,000 fine.

A ministry official was noted as saying that Bluetooth in selfie-sticks is unlikely to cause any major interference to the likes of aeroplanes or emergency frequencies and nothing much will really change. None-the-less they are classed as communications tools and have to be regulated as such.

This is a bit of a blow for manufacturers of hi-tech selfie sticks, but not one that staunch opponents of their use will be particularly happy with.

Image: Adam Singer via Fickr

Tom Pritchard