Allegedly, red rooms are some of the most horrific places on the deep web. Now, this is not your standard type of creepy, Internet website - red rooms cross the line into some seriously dark and depraved stuff. You've been warned.
In a red room, you can supposedly view a live stream of someone being tortured and murdered - and some say that the audience can even participate by exchanging Bitcoins for particular acts of horrific violence. These two things distinguish a "true" red room from a typical snuff-film uploaded to the deep web (as if you needed another reason to avoid the dark web and all the horror stories that go along with it).
But are red rooms real, or are they just an urban legend? This list presents evidence for, and against, the existence of red rooms - you be the judge.
People who believe that red rooms are real often point to Peter Gerard Scully. Scully is currently on trial in the Philippines, and has been accused of many flat-out terrible things including child pornography, kidnapping, human trafficking, rape, and the murder of a 12-year-old girl whose remains were discovered at one of Scully's former residences. In all fairness, it should be noted that he has pleaded not guilty to the charges and the trial is still pending.
However, among Scully's alleged exploits is a film titled Daisy's Destruction (also referred to as The Destruction of Daisy). This is just one of many videos that Scully is said to have uploaded to the dark web. If you have seen any of these videos, you are either a member of the Filipino or Australian police, or you have committed a horrific crime. The contents of the videos, and the charges placed against Scully, are supposedly so awful that the Philippines has actually considered bringing back the death penalty specifically for this case.
Even if the charges against Scully prove to be true, it is not clear whether his dark website No Limits Fun can be considered to be a "true" red room, as it is unknown whether or not anything was ever streamed live on the site.
One of the chief arguments against the existence of red rooms is the claim that Tor is just too slow to stream live video. But even if this claim is true, Tor is not synonymous with the deep web - Tor is simply a way to browse the deep web. It does mean, however, that it would be technically impossible to actually operate these red rooms using Tor, so a different distribution mechanism would be needed.
This is why some people claim that if red rooms do to exist, they would not actually be found on the deep web at all. Instead, they would be hidden in heavily restricted and secure areas of the surface web.
According to IT experts that frequent the deep web, if a red room were to exist, it would be heavily guarded and only a select few people would even be able to view them. Certainly, there are plenty of alleged red room scams on the deep web (as well as law enforcement sting operations in effect). So, this immediately poses a problem for both the payer and the seller of the red room.
Anyone performing an illegal activity in one of these rooms is going to have a hard time advertising without making the authorities aware of their dealings. Likewise, anyone seeking illegal activity is going to be wary of spending massive amounts of money on a product they cannot verify. Long story short, you really have to try if you want to find one.
One such site on the deep web called "Cruel Onion" was even shut down by the FBI. These sites feature the sexualized killing of small animals such as mice, rabbits, puppies, and kittens, and often - allegedly - include a forum where people can make requests. Seriously, Internet, you should be ashamed of yourself.
In 2016, Brent Justice was convicted for making these videos and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. His accomplice, Ashley Nicole Richards, pled guilty and received a reduced sentence. They were the first to be convicted of this type of crime under the US Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010. The two had a rather active client base and would often take requests.