North Korea Launches Its Own Propaganda-Filled Netflix Clone
If you have internet access and a hankering to learn more about the supreme leader, you're in luck
If we had to take an uneducated guess on how North Korean leadership and state media is promoting its freshly-developed clone of Netflix, we’d assume it’d be something like: “Good news for all you North Koreans with unfettered internet access: we have a new, Netflix-style streaming service that will allow you to totally binge out on entertaining content for hours!”
There are, of course, significant caveats to this new service: given that internet access is highly restricted within the hermit country, all content will consist of little more than government propaganda.
According to NKNews.org, the new set-top box technology is called “Manbang” (translating to “everywhere”) and will feature video on demand content to go with five channels that broadcast over the internet. This includes state-sponsored news and morally-minded television programming to go with documentaries about Kim Jong Un and the state government. The system requires a phone line, high-speed modem, cable box, and television set, so those looking to veg out on their state-issued tablet need not apply.
As Gizmodo notes, it’s just the latest in a long line of U.S.-inspired tech innovations that the country has pioneered following a state-sanctioned smartphone and Mac-esque operating system. How well Manbang will actually work remains up for question, given the country’s abysmal history with technology. (The country has zero secure internet servers per 1 million people, according to the World Bank.)