The South Korean government has launched a “crackdown” on selfie sticks, the telescopic poles that people have started using to take selfies.
AFP reports that anybody found selling a selfie stick could face three years in prison or a $US27,000 fine.
The new punishments have come about because the government has declared selfie sticks “communication equipment,” meaning that they have to be tested and certified.
Selfie sticks usually work using bluetooth to trigger the shutter and take a photo, which means they fall under the more regulated category.
A South Korean government official told AFP that “It’s not going to affect anything in any meaningful way, but it is nonetheless a telecommunication device subject to regulation, and that means we are obligated to crack down on un-certified ones.”
Some selfie stick sellers, realising that the products they sell are not certified, have been dumping their stock. “Some of the bigger sellers had to get rid of some of their stock which hadn’t been registered,” a stick vendor said. “They’re not that profitable really. There’re so many around now that you have to sell them cheap.”