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Athletes from many countries have been the target of hateful messages mainly through their social media accounts during the Tokyo Olympics. Why do you think people post such abusive messages?

21 Comments

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Because they are cowards. If it couldn’t be done anonymously you’d see a far lower amount of this online bullying.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

This internet war will led to real world war soon. We must try to stop but we will never, however we can minimise. The problem is not enough education though. There isn't a problem. It's just us, each human being with different thoughts.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Why? Because they are ill-educated, cowardly, retarded morons.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

First things first, despite at lot of us being extraordinarily angry at the the government, LDP, the JOC, the IOC and, I guess, "not happy" with the athletes going on what is essentially an ego-trip at our expenses, one can not condone this.

As for the question, it already struck me several years ago that despite Japan having no real tradition / history of demonstrations (I mean in the streets), exception made of some rare cases, the level of anger on Social Networks is definitely au par with abroad. Just have a look at comments under the article of Yahoo News to get a feel of where things stand. I would go even as far as saying that these days the Nett Uyo are being marginalized and overtaken by "Yamada Taro".

Why are people abusive on the internet has been / is being extensively researched. The "why" in Japan, I think, is different.

The way the feeling can be expressed can be manyfold: measured, backed up with facts, etc or simply straight-in-yer-face, if not "brutal". Social network allow for "immediate" response. Organizing a demo, lets you cool down, sit down and think: what do you want to say, what slogan will you go for, what will you write on your board, etc. SNS cuts all of this. SNS somehow not only allows you but also force you to be quick, short and "punchy"...sometimes at the expense of something / somebody.

In Japan, there is a cultural element of not disrupting peace / the consensus (or whatever you want to call it). But people have private (and different) opinions, hence they take on the internet to express it anonymously.

Add to this that many people see that news outlets either have their allegiances (fair enough) or are self-restraining (the latter being a bigger problem). As a result, people may feel that their causes are not "challenged" by any champion on their behalf.

Also, we are in a pandemic, so having a big amounts of people gathering does not sound like a good idea. Hence, people using SNS as a perfect outlet to shout whatever they want to.

Now, why the athletes? Well, it's the Olympics, they are (allegedly) at the center of it, contrary to the LDP/JOC/IOC most of them have SNS accounts and the media puts them even more in the public's face every day in the news. In short, they are the perfect lightning rod for an increasingly frustrated public with no way to express themselves and vent their anger.

When a few months ago, Ikee was put so much on display in the news, I was wondering if there wouldn't be a backlash as the games were hitting record level of unpopularity. BANG, exactly that happened. The way she reacted also just confirmed to me that celebrities in Japan seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that NOT EVERYBODY likes them and have problems dealing with it (the Hana Kimura incident comes to mind). Again, they grew up in a Japanese world were consensus is king and nobody argues (against you). The wake-up call is hard...

My piece of advice to the athletes, if you can't deal with the heat and do not want to throw gas on the fire, de-activate the comments section under you account or de-activate your account completely and possibly refrain from posting, at least over these particular games. Because, this time more than any time in your career, you are on the wrong side of things and things could get pretty nasty pretty quickly.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Those who post such comments are narrow-minded, and they have lower vocabulary level compered to people who cheer the athletes for their efforts.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It is easier to abuse freedom of speech when you hide through a virtual identity. I am pretty sure that most of them could not even throw a single word when they face the athletes face to face.

The problem is also connected to the way social media and mainstream media try to magnify the voices of these cowards. Let's be honest. Mass media also have a responsibility in giving them the a platform if it suits their narrative.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Because social media.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

SNS has already prevailed as means of communication. Mainstream media also often refer to online postings as "public views" for reporting.

Some athletes, while having used own account(s) and being active online, still seem unaware of or unprepared for negative impacts of audience reactions as a result of their sport performance or behaviors at the Tokyo Games.

While top or experienced athletes know better how to avoid or hire a legal/PR advisor to handle matters on their behalf (Osaka or Biles may deflect abuses well with high-end defense arrangements) some brand-new medalists are an unexpected rising star who are suddenly brought to the centerfold, exposed to wider sns-public attentions.

In some competitions, outcomes are hard to predict and prepare in advance. It's thus important for the IOC and national team officials to assure support to "novice" athletes/medalists.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Because they are losers and there are no consequences. Try to publish anything in a local paper for example, they want your name and contact details and you will be held accountable. The internet is a cesspool.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

No real world problem, it’s all only virtual. In addition there still is freedom of speech and freedom of not reading it on the monitor. Just don’t always overdramatize such senseless crap. It’s in fact only some moving electrons, bits and bytes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Those who abuse their own athletes online are basically morons with nothing else to do with their sad little lives. I don't understand the mentality behind it (I've never been passionate about any sport other than F1 in the 80s and 90s) to be honest - all I know is that they are the lowest common denominator

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have also been subject to hate messages from Japanese sports fanatics claiming that I am "Anti-Japanese" for opposing the Olympic games.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have also been subject to hate messages from Japanese sports fanatics claiming that, among others, I am "Anti-Japanese" for opposing the Olympics. From me, it seems that it is "anti-Japanese" to host the Olympics in a pandemic, and a lot of nationalists here seem to agree.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Because they are cowards. If it couldn’t be done anonymously you’d see a far lower amount of this online bullying.

I don't think so, the hate by some of these people would be just as visceral if they were there in person as well.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The simplest explanation simply requires the simplest statistical explanation, the 'normal distribution' for 'intelligence' in collective Humanity. Like shoe size, whatever 'intelligence' really is, it is multivariate, and is without a doubt distributed according to the rules which govern everything else (see: insurance companies profit). This gives us, say, Max Planck, Mileva Meriç, and Linus Pauling at one end of the distribution and, sadly, Humans with less mental capacity than the average Chimpanzee (really) at the other. The majority of all Humans are clustered around the 'average'. If we examine us carefully, we see that 'average' people tend to believe and trust their 'Authorities' rather than to examine the behavior they see and come to their own conclusions because, when they do, they often find that they have fallen into the traps of 'smart', but mostly just conscienceless, people so their trust in their own thinking is not high and will believe 'Authorities' who very often seek nothing but to sow chaos and confusion for their own benefit. Many of these dishonest Authorities use FEAR to capture their listeners and FEAR begets ANGER which begets HATRED. The targets of HATRED are as distributed as the capacity of the minds projecting it so we must expect, and actually observe, that few things in Human Life do not have some amount of Humans who fear and hate it and will react with hostility toward it, even kittens... While we cannot analyze the developmental pathways, experiences, or belief systems which result in a given Human having a particular 'hostility', we can with assurance expect that SOME Human will contain a negative reaction for almost anything extant in 'Life' and even for things which exist only in some imaginations such as deities... Can we then be surprised by some small measure of us expressing HATRED in a any given situation or circumstance? No, and that is what we see if we are paying attention. HATRED is rarely a 'passive' emotion in Humans and, when it is so easy to express and free of direct response and condemnation, we should be surprised if it DOESN'T occur... so what we might conclude is that these poor souls who express HATRED really do not have a choice...which is not to say that SOME things deserve HATRED such as militant political psychopathy. As I said, simple...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ERROR CORRECTION

...which is NOT to say that SOME things DO NOT deserve HATRED such as militant political psychopathy. As I said, simple... [just difficult to express on occasion]

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They shouldn't do it of course but...people are scared and angry because despite trying everyday via phone calls and internet after seven weeks they still haven't even been able to get a first vaccination! It's galling to have to watch a huge party going on at Tokyo Olympics whilst the inoculated are expected to put their lives on hold and stay at home. Where is the vaccine? Why is the Japanese government so incompetent? How can these athletes celebrate whilst the ordinary people are expected to cower in fear? These are the questions that go unanswered and so I guess that's why people have started targeting the athletes. It's probably out of frustration.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Because social media allows morons to flourish. I called it a disease a number of times in the past.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Athletes from many countries have been the target of hateful messages mainly through their social media accounts during the Tokyo Olympics.

Because the athletes are young and actually read messages on their SNS accounts and are invested emotionally in them.

The righteous anger directed at the robber barons of the IOC,JOC, and LDP is misdirected:as usual it is not the real exploiters who suffer but the most vulnerable.

The leaders of those organizations do not read or care about their SNS, they have media managers who post and prune and moderate their messaging for them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you gather twenty random people in a room, one is likely to be unpleasant. That's human nature. Alcohol magnifies such things.

The internet is a global room. There are 7.6bn people on this planet.

I'm surprised the net is as civilised as it is.

Use the options available on social media platforms to block people you do not know from posting on your feed or sending you messages, and get on with life.

If you can't live without having an audience, learn to deal with hecklers (and moderators).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@blue

Good piece, sums up what many people feel, along with anger these sports 'elites' (players and officials) generate, by-passing many of the rules and restrictions others have to put up with.

A similar phenomenon was seen in Europe, with the recent football competition, with 2,500 officials being allowed in to the UK, instead of folliwing quarantine procedures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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