Japan strengthens control over comments on social networks. Photo: Bloomberg
Japan has chosen change the criminal code in relation to cyberbullying from the death of Hana Kimura, the Japanese fighter who decided to take her own life in 2020 due to cyberbullying and now He will punish with fines and even imprison those who insult on the Internet.
The Japanese parliament approved an increase in sanctions against insults on the Internet, modifying the penalty which included approximately 30 days of imprisonment and a fine of up to 10 thousand yen, for a new rate of up to one year of arrest or a fine of up to 300 thousand yen; equivalent to $ 2,200.
This bill, opponents say, it could mean a restriction on freedom of expression.
For their part, the legislators have argued that a stricter regulations against cyberbullying.
Japan represses online bullying
Under the Japanese Penal Code, the insult is defined as “publicly debase someone’s social standing without referring to specific facts about them or to a specific action, ”according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice quoted by CNN.
However, there is a terminological gap due to ambiguity of the definition of insultas well as defamation.
According to media nippon.com, the National Police Agency received a total of 353 cyberbullying complaints in 2021; 40 more than a year ago. At least 315 of the total were defamation cases, while the rest were insults. Likewise, they indicated that 387 complaints of intimidation and 325 cases of violating the law against physical harassment had occurred that year.
In 2021, on the other hand, over 12 thousand cases were reported for cybercrime, including banking fraud and theft of personal data.
Hana Kimura: The test case
Wrestler Hana Kimura has died at the age of 22. (@we_are_stardom)
After her participation in the fifth season of the reality show “Terrace House”, the 22-year-old Japanese fighter suffered a long depressive episode for comments and insults received through social media. What triggered the cyberbullying against her was the broadcast of an argument she had with another reality show participant.
The show’s producer Stardom confirmed her death in May 2020 via Twitter: “We are sorry to report the death of Hana Kimura. We ask for respect and time for those closest to them to process what happened, as well as your prayers for this “.
Cyberbullying in Argentina
The case of Hana Kimura has a rebound in our region. According to a recent report by UNESCO’s International Center for the Promotion of Human Rights, Argentina leads the ranking of countries with the highest number of juvenile cyberbullying crimes with Mexico in Latin America. This violent practice includes bullying, soliciting and school abuse over the Internet.
Honduras follows in third place on the list, followed by Costa Rica and Chile. For its part, Brazil occupies the sixth position, while Peru and Uruguay occupy the next steps.
The applications most used to perpetrate harassment are WhatsApp, at 74%, while Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Zoom and Telegram share the rest.