Japanese Man Fined US$80 for Cyberbullying Late Netflix Star

A Japanese man has been fined US$80 (¥9,000) for cyberbullying Netflix reality star Hana Kimura, who took her own life last May, prosecutors said.

An unnamed man, who reportedly posted increasingly abusive messages on Hana Kimura’s social media, has been charged with the crime of making public insults.

A Tokyo Prosecutors’ Office spokesperson said they had made a “summary indictment against a man in his 20s” after the suicide of 22-year-old Hana Kimura, who was one of the six members of Terrace House, a reality show distributed on Netflix and also broadcasted on Fuji TV.

“The suspect… posted messages on a social media account of the victim, including ‘You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?’ and ‘Hey, hey. When will you die?,’” the police said, according to reports.

Reports also said that the online abuse included comments like, “everyone will be happy if you’re gone.”

However, the March 30 ruling prompted some online users to say that the punishment was too light.

“If he can get away with ¥9,000, I’m worried that the number of cyberbullies will increase,” one user wrote, according to a report by The Japan Times.

“It’s extremely wrong. There is no justice,” another user wrote, as quoted by The Japan Times.

BBC News reported that one comment on Twitter described the law as “wrong.”

Kimura’s mother, Kyoko, has filed a lawsuit seeking over US$20,000 (¥2,215,086) in damages from the man.

Kyoko also announced this week the launch of Remember Hana, an organization aimed in fighting against cyberbullying.

Before her death, Kimura reportedly shared posts on her Twitter that suggested her distress over the online abuse she was facing, including photos of self-harm.

The reality show was cancelled after Kimura’s death.


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