Japan passes bill making online insults punishable by jail time in wake of ‘Terrace House’ star’s death
- An amended Japanese law will consider cyberbullying a crime that may result in one-year imprisonment and fines of up to 300,000 yen (approximately $2,224).
- Japan’s parliament passed the bill on Monday, which will take effect later this year.
- The current law states that cyberbullying will result in a 30-day imprisonment and 10,000-yen (approximately $74) fine.
- Calls for stricter cyberbullying laws arose after the death of Kimura Hana, a 22-year-old professional wrestler and “Terrace House” cast member who died by suicide in 2020 due to floods of negative comments on social media.
After calls for harsher punishments following the suicide of a cyberbullied Indonesian Japanese female wrestler, Japan’s parliament passed a bill on Wednesday making online insults punishable by imprisonment.
Kimura Hana was a 22-year-old professional wrestler and cast member of the popular reality show “Terrace House,” which was produced by Japan’s Fuji Television Network and distributed on Netflix. After Kimura got into an altercation with a fellow house member for damaging her wrestling costume, she received a bombardment of hateful and racist comments regarding her appearance. On May 23, 2020, Kimura died by suicide. The show was canceled four days later.
- A Chinese graduate student in Shanghai was cyberbullied after buying her classmates 50,000 yuan (approximately $7,621) worth of chocolates to cheer them up during lockdown.
- The student, Chen Zhenzhen, bought the chocolates using her savings after a university counselor encouraged students to have a positive attitude.
- Chen had originally been saving up to buy a camera lens.
- After posting about the experience on social media, internet users directed abusive remarks at Chen, accusing her of seeking attention.
After purchasing 50,000 yuan (approximately $7,621) worth of chocolates to cheer up her classmates during lockdown, a Chinese graduate student was cyberbullied for “showing off.”
As Shanghai goes into its fourth week of lockdown, Chen Zhenzhen, a graduate student studying philosophy, sought an opportunity to cheer up her classmates after a university counselor encouraged students to keep a positive attitude.
South Koreans demand tougher cyberbullying laws following recent suicide deaths of Korean celebrities
- South Korea’s government is under pressure to act after the recent deaths of a high-profile volleyball player and Twitch streamer, both of whom were victims of countless instances of online abuse and malicious comments.
- Kim In-hyeok, a 27-year-old professional volleyball player for the Daejeon Samsung Fire Bluefangs, was found dead of an apparent suicide at his home on Friday.
- Cho Jang-mi, a 27-year-old Twitch streamer and YouTube influencer who often went by the name “BJ Jammi,” was also found dead of an apparent suicide on Saturday, the day after Kim.
- Kim had recently complained about the surge of hateful comments he received due to rumours regarding his appearance and sexual idenitity.
- Cho was also reportedly suffering from depression after receiving sexually degrading comments and claims that she despised men over the span of more than two years.
- A petition calling for stricter punishments for cyberbullying was uploaded on the presidential Blue House’s website and has managed to attract more than 150,000 signatures by Tuesday.
WARNING: This article contains mentions of suicide that may be disturbing to some readers.
The recent suicide deaths of professional volleyball player Kim In-hyeok and Twitch streamer Cho Jang-mi have put the South Korean government under pressure to enact stricter punishments against cyberbullying.
A man from Osaka, Japan may face charges for cyberbullying the late Hana Kimura who died from an apparent suicide earlier this year.
What happened: The man, whose name was not revealed, was suspected by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police of sending hateful messages to the late 22-year-old professional wrestler, according to Japan Times.
While Kelly Marie Tran has not made a social media comeback, the Vietnamese American star has already moved past the backlash she had received for her casting in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Tran, who played Rose Tico, faced vitriol from toxic fans for being “the most useless character” in the film, which also received criticism for “forcing diversity” and a petition to be deleted from the franchise.
Sadat Rahman, a 17-year-old boy from Bangladesh, was named the winner of the 2020 Children’s Peace Prize for creating the anti-cyberbullying app “Cyber Teens.”
The app, which allows teens to send reports of bullying confidentially and teaches them about online safety, was created by Rahman after hearing news of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life because of cyberbullying, according to Kids Rights.
An AP Chinese class from Newton South High School in Massachusetts is the third victim this month of “Zoombombing.“
Lanlan Chen, who goes by Ms. Chen, was teaching her class of 15 over a Zoom video call on April 15 when the shared screen was flooded with racially charged slurs and coronavirus-fueled hate comments.
Award-winning journalist and CNN host Lisa Ling is one of the many Asians being targeted for racially charged attacks and hate speech, not only on the streets but also online in the form of cyberbullying due to COVID-19 fears.