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Mother of late 'Terrace House' star sues man over hateful posts

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This was bound to happen one day, and now that day has come!!

The day cyberbullies and "cancel culture trolls" get their comeuppance.

Good for Mrs. Kimura to bring those creeps to civil justice so that her dear Hana can soon rest in peace.

JUSTICE FOR HANA!!

22 ( +27 / -5 )

The man, from the central Japan prefecture of Nagano, was identified after legislation approved last month made it easier to track down anonymous posters and simplified court procedures to help victims of cyberbullying seek information on their harassers.

Its a bit ironic that despite this “the man” remains anonymous in the article.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Mr. Kipling, since hate speech, discrimination, defamation, etc. is a criminal offense, I do believe the same law should be applied to online platforms

12 ( +12 / -0 )

what a jerk

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Reckless.... agreed, a jerk, a loser, many things but a criminal?

Bad taste and offending others shouldn't be a crime. Where do you set the bar?

8 ( +16 / -8 )

The Original WingToday 11:29 am JST

This lawsuit is nonsense, and I hope it will be dismissed. The troll's comments are obviously hurtful and crass and awful, but if you value free speech you need to endure hurtful, crass, and awful comments. It's a necessary evil if we're to enjoy a free society.

Well, she endured hurtful, crass and aswful comments until the bitter end.

On the other hand, your freedom ends where my nose begins and if you value freedom of speech, you must be prepared to face the consequences. No one banned the person from releasing things that lead to this situation. You are free to say whatever is on your mind. But, no matter what you do, everything is about consequences of your actions.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good so glad this is happening, laws need to be put into place to criminalise stalking and abusing someone over social media. Enough already.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Freedom of speech does come with a responsibility. Encouraging violence and hate speech against an individual is a criminal offense. And many cyberbullies (and bullies in power, ahem) are too chicken to physically say the talk to their subjects.

One needs to look at American society for the past X number of years as an example.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Mr. Kipling: I don't think the comments published in the article are "hate speech" or discrimination

They're not. "Hate speech" doesn't mean saying "I hate you." Here's the definition provided by the UN:

"What is Hate Speech?" ...any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.

In other words, "hate speech" means attacking someone by being discriminatory about their race, religion, etc.

Source: https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/UN%20Strategy%20and%20Plan%20of%20Action%20on%20Hate%20Speech%2018%20June%20SYNOPSIS.pdf

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Also, the discussion on hate speech is actually irrelevant, because there is no legal penalty for hate speech in Japan.

The Hate Speech Act of 2016... "does not ban hate speech and sets no penalty for committing it." ... "it only involves threats to someone's body and threats to people's lives."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_Speech_Act_of2016(Japan)

According to this JT article, the internet troll posted "Everyone is happier that you died, thank you," and "Who do you think you are, causing trouble until the end? Go to hell." Being happy that someone died is not the same as threatening to kill someone, in the eyes of Japanese law.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good so glad this is happening, laws need to be put into place to criminalise stalking and abusing someone over social media. Enough already.

Indeed.

WE have to remember: we’ve ALL ‘sold our souls to these sites’ and are only ‘just a few keystrokes away from being identified for who WE each, really are. Our ‘perceived anonymity’ is just a thin veil, that some, think shields them from being subjected to legal consequences. - Not anymore.

Thing is; some of the abusers aren't the brightest. They are identifiable by the many, many details they give away about themselves.

I hope that the deeply unpleasant individual is sued for a pretty penny. And then some.

Let it serve as a lesson to would be brave randoms on the internet. Words like those have consequences - fairly sure the coward wouldn't dare say that to Mrs Kimura's face.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

""The man, from the central Japan prefecture of Nagano, was identified after legislation approved last month made it easier to track down anonymous posters and simplified court procedures to help victims of cyberbullying seek information on their harassers.""

Great, GOD FOR YOU Mom, and I hope you win big.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Can we not get the trolls' names? It is possible to find out where they live too? Likely, privacy laws prevail. They should be lifted wth regard to trolls like on who bullied this late innocent artist.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Police have said Kimura received around 300 hateful messages from approximately 200 accounts and they believe the messages were what prompted her to take her own life.

In December last year, another man, in his 20s from Osaka Prefecture, was referred to prosecutors for allegedly posting hateful messages on social media about Kimura.

Really? What are they going to do? Arrest every single one of these trolls? And every other troll from now on for every celebrity?

Be realistic.

Those trolls, do they do crappy things? Yes. Should they be punished? I think that's subjective. If you eliminate all negative comments or things from the Internet, you will eliminate 95% of the Internet and it's users.

Is the mother doing the right thing? Sure, who wouldn't want justice for their daughter.

Is the bullying to blame for Hana's death? idk about that one.....

I'm a fan of wrestling, terrace house and to some extent social media. It's all entertainment, and she chose to be in the spotlight.

People might say, no it was her agency that decided it. Well, she signed with them, didn't she? That's what they do. I don't like it, but that's what they do. She should've known that going in.

On the show, she appeared to not be that stable, mentally when she first appeared on the show. There was always something off about her from the start. But you figure, she was just playing a character, like they do on TV or wrestling.

All entertainers get crapped on by the media or fans. All of them. But you don't see Brad Pitt or Taylor Swift or whoever going and killing themselves. They just ignore it, and count their money. She should have just blocked or turn off all her social media once she couldn't handle it. We all had a crappy 2020, but we all dealt with it.

I feel bad for what she did, and what happened, for I am a fan of the show and did enjoy her on the show. But if you wanna be in the limelight and be an entertainer, you have to develop a thick skin about this kind of nonsense.

Do i hope the mother gets the justice she is looking for? Sure. But is she really chasing the real culprit here? I think that's the mystery in this whole situation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@The Original Wing

Kyoko Kimura filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court on Jan 22 seeking damages of around 2.94 million yen against the man for causing emotional distress to her family. It is the first damages claim made for defamatory comments about Kimura, a professional wrestler who was 22 when she died, according to the lawyers.

Seems like it is a civil case not a criminal one. Nothing to do with the government, fine, ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It was *wishful thinking*** to leave this article at 6:30am, hoping toreturn to** ‘a flurry of positive support’ for the surviving mother and family. However, some, still want to blame the victim. They still don’t understand. The lack of support is something WE failed at when the ‘victim’ was still alive. - “around 300 messages from approx 200 accounts” -

The malicious criticisms of a real person who was just ‘playing a role’ that was intentionally ‘orchestrated’, closely edited, and heavily-produced on a so-called “reality show” is sad. The continued taunting of the family after her death is deplorable.

First and foremost, ‘individual responsibility’ for comments and their consequences are the key.

Second, we can’t rely on media, social media, etc to ‘police’ content. They are only interested in revenue.

And, we don’t need an overwhelming ‘cancellation’ of one ‘person’ by many, anonymous people. There is legistlation and civil remedies for that. Were ALL capable and should ‘censor and police’ our own thoughts and actions or, be prepared for the consequences. Plus, all the “ ‘’ votes, “likes/dislikes”, etc are really ‘pointless and inconsequential‘ in the grand scope of ethics, civility and morality.

For any that want to attack the surviving family for seeking damages: the producers, the show and sponsors are all indemnified from responsibility when the victim signed her ‘releases and NDA. It was her ‘cost for fame and notoriety’ through a industry that continues to exploit young people.

Finally, for the ‘haters’ amongst us, WE have to remember: we’ve ALL ‘sold our souls to these sites’ and are only ‘just a few keystrokes away from being identified for who WE each, really are. Our ‘perceived anonymity’ is just a thin veil, that some, think shields them from being subjected to legal consequences. - Not anymore.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Original Wing

That's not how freedom works. Freedoms guaranteed by the government quite specifically are free from consequences from the government. Which is why I'm sure this lawsuit will be thrown out. There might be social consequences, such as the man being banned from whatever app or website he was posting on. But that's a decision for the private company that owns that platform, and is separate from government-protected free speech.

Donald Trashtrump got his Twitter account permanently blocked after the treasonous Jan. 6 insurrection attempt. And he did it to himself - all he has done with it was sass sass sass, run his motormouth and encourage hatred and violence. That's an explicit example of where the responsibility comes in focus. This lady didn't need this crap and abuse, she didn't have to die.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Original WingToday 11:42 am JST

That's not how freedom works. Freedoms guaranteed by the government quite specifically are free from consequences from the government. Which is why I'm sure this lawsuit will be thrown out. There might be social consequences, such as the man being banned from whatever app or website he was posting on. But that's a decision for the private company that owns that platform, and is separate from government-protected free speech.

Your perception of freedom and someone else's perception of freedom may not be the same. Your interpretation of freedom of speech may not corelate with someone else's interpretation of freedom of speech. Your interpretation of freedom of speech may not even corelate with government-protected free speech. But freedom of speech does definitely not equal anarchy. Freedom of speech also does not equal promoting one's own theories about freedom of speech.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a messy situation. How can you separate the comments directed towards Kimura as a private person, and those directed towards the unpopular character she played in the TV series? The use of real names and scripted situations on the show have blurred the lines between reality and fiction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yotomaya: Saying that he was exercising his freedom of speech is like saying somebody who punched you was exercising their freedom of action.

No it isn't. There is no such thing as "freedom of action." There are clear laws that prohibit assault. There are no laws that prohibit saying cruel things to someone. Freedom is speech is clearly defined in the Japanese constitution and lawbook.

Robert Cikki: Your perception of freedom and someone else's perception of freedom may not be the same. Your interpretation of freedom of speech may not corelate with someone else's interpretation of freedom of speech.

I'm not giving you a perception or an interpretation of freedom of speech. I'm explaining how Japan's laws are defined and enforced. If you'd like to have an opinion about those laws, you're entitled to.

Robert Cikki: But freedom of speech does definitely not equal anarchy.

That's right. There are some restrictions, such as calling in fake a bomb threat or threatening to kill someone. But Kimura's troll, as disgusting as he is, stayed within what is legally-protected speech. If you feel that's not true, please let me know which section of the Japanese law you feel he broke.

Robert Cikki: Freedom of speech also does not equal promoting one's own theories about freedom of speech.

Actually, yes it does. Although I'm not promoting any theories. I'm telling you what the laws say. You're allowed to dislike those laws, but that won't change the fact that they exist and are enforced.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@The Original Wing

There are no laws that prohibit saying cruel things to someone. Freedom is speech is clearly defined in the Japanese constitution and lawbook.

Certainly, but I suppose the question here is whether saying that someone is causing trouble and everyone is happy about their death amounts to actionable defamation in Japan. I don't know the answer to this, but given the wide scope of defamation law in Japan, I would not be surprised if it did. Defamation is obviously one of the recognised exceptions to freedom of speech.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reckless.... agreed, a jerk, a loser, many things but a criminal?

Bad taste and offending others shouldn't be a crime. Where do you set the bar?

Well, there are violent crimes and non violent crimes, on this case it caused pain to someone. Offending people in public causes a lot of pain and they find themselves unable to do something about, are you saying that the mother should cry alone and accept the humilliation? I know 2 kids who stop going to school because some jerks started bullying / humiliating them in public, what can they do? There should be laws to protect them from those jerks and offending people in public should be treated as a crime

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No it isn't. There is no such thing as "freedom of action." There are clear laws that prohibit assault. There are no laws that prohibit saying cruel things to someone. Freedom is speech is clearly defined in the Japanese constitution and lawbook.

True, but governments all around the world have been quite bad at catching up with possible harm caused online, be it the spread of misinformation or bullying. My point wasn't whether the prosecution has a chance to win the case (I'm no lawyer), but that the concept of "freedom of speech" needs constant revisiting. For instance, hate speech hasn't been illegal in Japan for a long time.

We like to think that we are able to act freely without getting unreasonably limited by other people or the government. That is, unless we are hurting others. That was the reason for my poorly worded parallel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Flute - Ah, you're right, thanks. I was getting caught up in the details and confused myself.

@Yotomaya - Understood!

pOcketMonster: offending people in public should be treated as a crime

I couldn't disagree more. I have the deepest of sympathies for everyone who's a victim of bullying, but criminalizing "offending people" is just a terrible idea, both in theory and in practice. What offends me doesn't offend you, and vice versa. It's an impossible thing to regulate. But more importantly, there can be no freedom of speech without allowing the bad with the good. Let's not have the government monitoring and evaluating our every word, please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Saying that he was exercising his freedom of speech is like saying somebody who punched you was exercising their freedom of action.

That aside, this is probably just an examplary case. The police won't be bothered to track down the 200 accounts from which she got harassed before her death.

Systems should be in place to support victims of online bullying. I'm not very familiar with this particular case, but this type of behaviour surely affects people more if they don't have enough support in real life. That might be idealistic, though, in a culture of gaman and gambaru.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@M3M3M3 - You're exactly right! It's almost definitely the "defamation" angle that Kimura's mother's lawyers will be focusing on, because as you said, the defamation rationale is a powerful one in Japanese law. In a lot of cases, it hasn't even mattered if the statement in question was true or false - legal action can still be pursued (which makes Japan's definition of defamation different than a lot of other countries', and is why it has received a share of criticism).

To the best of my understanding, the Japanese concept of defamation focuses on the impact of someone's reputation. That's the key issue. So, let's go back to the quotes JT gave us from Kimura's troll:

The man posted hateful messages about Kimura's death in May last year, such as "Everyone is happier that you died, thank you," and "Who do you think you are, causing trouble until the end? Go to hell," according to the lawsuit.

This is just my opinion, but I don't think any of these comments damage Kimura's reputation, strictly. There's a difference between "I hate you and I'm glad you're dead" (my subjective feelings, which I'm entitled to) and "I accuse you of doing XYZ bad thing" (which, I think, is more closely related to a potential damaging of that person's reputation). So, judging from that angle, it's my opinion that the court will dismiss the lawsuit. But M3M3M3 is right - this makes much more sense as a defamation issue than as a simple freedom of speech issue.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why doesn't she sue the production company and all producers who are responsible for coaxing her daughter into a more dramatic misrepresentation of herself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mother of late 'Terrace House' star sues man over hateful posts

I hope she is not successful with that. I have no sympathy for the moron who posted the messages, but the last thing we need is more policing of speech.

Freedom of speech means precisely freedom to offend. Speech that does not offend anyone does not need to be protected in the first place.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can we not get the trolls' names? It is possible to find out where they live too? Likely, privacy laws prevail. They should be lifted wth regard to trolls like on who bullied this late innocent artist.

I reckon doxxing might be against the rules.

Let the law deal with them. Vigilantism is no better than what they do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am not an expert, but I would think that it's the responsibility of the social media platforms to decide which content to show, and the role of the government to regulate the platforms. You can't just go after a handful of (cruel) individuals who thought they were posting anonymously.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Well, she endured hurtful, crass and aswful comments until the bitter end.

She did. It's a horrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to her and her family.

No one banned the person from releasing things that lead to this situation. You are free to say whatever is on your mind. But, no matter what you do, everything is about consequences of your actions.

That's not how freedom works. Freedoms guaranteed by the government quite specifically are free from consequences from the government. Which is why I'm sure this lawsuit will be thrown out. There might be social consequences, such as the man being banned from whatever app or website he was posting on. But that's a decision for the private company that owns that platform, and is separate from government-protected free speech.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Timeon.... Good point but I don't think the comments published in the article are "hate speech" or discrimination. Bad taste and ignorant? Of course. Did his comments hurt and offend? I'm sure they did. But that shouldn't be a crime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Finally some rules to regulate people behavior online. Cyberbullying need to stop.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This lawsuit is nonsense, and I hope it will be dismissed. The troll's comments are obviously hurtful and crass and awful, but if you value free speech you need to endure hurtful, crass, and awful comments. It's a necessary evil if we're to enjoy a free society.

That said, I can't blame the mother for trying. If I lost a child, I'd be desperate to seek any kind of justice that I could. But that's why we have courts - to make level-headed decisions about highly emotional circumstances.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@starpunk - Twitter is a private company, and has the power to set rules regulating speech on their own platform. If someone violates those rules, then Twitter can set some kind of Twitter-related penalty (such as getting your account suspended). However, Twitter cannot sue Donald Trump for violating Twitter's rules. Lawsuits are reserved for when someone breaks laws. So, while Hana Kimura's troll could face punishment on the app he was using, he did not break any laws and therefore Kimura's mother's lawsuit against him will be thrown out.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Article 230-1 of the Criminal Code of Japan:

“(1) A person who defames another by alleging facts in public shall, regardless of whether such facts are true or false, be punished by imprisonment with or without work for not more than three (3) years or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen.”

That 500,000 yen mention is interesting in light of the 2.94 million yen number that this JT article is reporting that Kimura's mother is seeking. The "regardless of whether such facts are true or false" makes me a bit ill, honestly speaking. But that's the law. As I said before, proving whether this counts as "defamation" or not will depend on whether Kimura's mother's lawyer can prove that the troll's comments hurt her reputation - which in my opinion, they don't.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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