A man in Japan has been fined 9,000 yen (US$80) for online abuse directed at a former cast member of the Netflix reality show “Terrace House” who killed herself last year.
On Tuesday Mar. 30, the Tokyo Prosecutors’ Office made a “summary indictment against a man in his 20s” following the death of 22-year-old Hanna Kimura, a professional wrestle of the Stardom Wrestling, according to AFP.
Police said the unnamed man posted messages on Kimura’s social media including, “You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?” and “When will you die?,” AFP reported.
Kimura had been appearing in the hit unscripted reality show, which follows the lives of six strangers living under the same roof.
In the weeks leading up to her death in May 2020, Kimura was targeted by a wave of abusive tweets from people online.
She received comments such as “everyone will be happy if you’re gone” daily.
Prior to her death, Kimura posted images of her self-harming and tweets referring to the hundreds of hate messages she received every day. The show was canceled after her death in May 2020.
On Tuesday, the man was charged with the crime of “insults” but will not be required to face trial. The indictment prompted concerns on social media, with people criticizing the charge for being too light.
The maximum penalty that can be imposed for the offense is 9,999 yen, while a defamation charge could result in a fine up to 500,000 yen.
It is unclear why the case was charged with a lighter sentence, the BBC reported.
A Twitter user wrote, “If he can get away with 9,000 yen, I’m worried that the number of cyberbullies will increase,” while another referred to the law as “wrong” and said “[t]here is no justice,” according to AFP.
Kimura’s death has led Japan’s communications ministry to begin evaluating measures to facilitate tracking down information on online attackers.