Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Japan will begin locking people up for online comments

HometechJapan will begin locking people up for online comments

In Japan, posting “online insults” will be punishable by up to one year in prison from today, the new law was passed earlier this summer.

Individuals guilty of internet insults may be fined up to 300,000 yen (about $2,200). Previously, the penalty consisted of less than 30 days in prison and a maximum fine of 10,000 yen ($75).

In three years, the law will be reexamined to determine if it affects freedom of expression, a point expressed by the bill’s opponents. Proponents said that it was vital to reduce cyberbullying in the United States.

However, there are no clear criteria of what constitutes an insult, Japanese criminal lawyer Seiho Cho told CNN after the law was approved. In contrast to defamation, which is defined as demeaning someone while referring to a specific fact about them, the law defines insult as demeaning someone without a specific fact about them. “At the moment, even if someone calls the leader of Japan an idiot, then maybe under the revised law that could be classed as an insult,”

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Officials in Japan campaigned for a crackdown on cyberbullying following the suicide of reality television star Hana Kimura, who had been the victim of online abuse. After her passing, her mother advocated for more anti-cyberbullying policies. Some research indicates a correlation between suicide actions and cyberbullying, while the majority of studies have been conducted on children and teenagers.

There are additional laws in the United Kingdom that criminalise “grossly offensive” public comments, and people have been jailed and fined for tweets. The terminology in its regulations is likewise vague, as judges decide case-by-case what constitutes “grossly” offensive content.