politics

Vaccine chief Kono draws flak for blocking Twitter critics

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I really really hope this guy will not be the next PM.

23 ( +33 / -10 )

Another stubborn and hard headed person, another oh-so-familiar LDP candidate, the cycle continues......

15 ( +22 / -7 )

Will he do the same thing to reporter if he didn't like reporter's question?

27 ( +32 / -5 )

It's his Twitter acct. He can do whatever he wants with It.

-4 ( +22 / -26 )

When does anyone ever have the “right” to comment on another person’s social media account?

When that person is a public official who is employed by the citizenry.

18 ( +30 / -12 )

"You wouldn't disparage a stranger on the street, but on social media it's quite common. I'm just asking that Twitter users demonstrate the same degree of civility as in a real-life setting," he said.

They might disparage someone in power like yourself in the street, whether they do or not is none of your business.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

From what I can understand, it is not his personal account that he is blocking people, but the account he uses to tweet from as a cabinet member. His own account, he can do whatever he wants, but if it is an official account that he is also using to post government information, then he has no right to block people.

Also Sakurasuki, he has already done that. Did you not see his press conference, when he just kept saying next, to reporters if he didn't like their questions? This guy is really full of himself, and is not what Japan needs right now!

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Twitter should be doing the policing, not the public figure who is in the running to be the leader of a country. If he's that thin skinned and can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

move the contender for next prime minister defended as protecting himself from online abuse.

I really hope the income orders of magnitude more than the average worker, generous pension, job security and golden parachute even if he makes a egregious blunder at his job, amakudari, free gourmet dinners from cronies and Japan Inc. lobbyists can comfort Minister Kono from this horrid abuse.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As a private citizen, he can do as he wishes. As a public servant who is using social media to further his agenda, why should he be able to block people? It’s tantamount to censorship. If he finds a reply to his post offensive, then he should notify Twitter and let them deal with the post. Otherwise, he should either stop using the platform in an official capacity or stop blocking people he disagrees with. I think a precedent for this was set not too long ago in a different country with its leader.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Understandable, Twitter is a nest of haters and basket cases.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

He seems as though his skin isn’t quite thick enough to be the leader of a developed democracy.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Someone has to teach these idiots that as long as they are elected officials they are public figures! Dont like the criticism them get out of the business of being a politician!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Kono Taro/Taro Kono seems to spend most of his time on twitter bragging about what a great job he's doing, so it's hardly surprising those who haven't even had their first shot yet should be complaining.

One of the great things about twitter is that you can block the flat earthers/QAnon/anti-vaxxers/Israeli space laser believers, doubtless some of those types are attacking him too.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Boohoo, blocked on twitter.

Some people think the world should revolve around them.

Kono can do what he likes on twitter. It’s a feature of twitter to block people, for a reason.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

The same people getting their daily outrage fix over this turn around and say Twitter is perfectly within their right as a private company to block users with opinions different than theirs. If you don't like what he does to you on Twitter, there are many upon many other ways to criticize him on other formats or in press conferences.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I don't get how his public image is so good if his behaviour is so off lol

6 ( +9 / -3 )

his press conference, when he just kept saying next, to reporters if he didn't like their questions? This guy is really full of himself, and is not what Japan needs right now!

That’s for the voters to decide ultimately.

If blocking uncivil idiots on twitter and not taking certain questions from reporters doesn’t wash well with voters, then it’s for the voters to decide how it’ll affect their votes.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I don’t think je is seating behind a desk twitting.

More likely he has staff managing that for him.

No need to be trigger happy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A hashtag meaning "I've been blocked by Mr. Kono" in Japanese was trending with more than 33,000 tweets, with some users expressing frustration that someone in his position as a cabinet minister is unwilling to engage in dialogue.

Unwilling to engage in dialogue...ha...look at Suga , not engaging with anyone on any social media, ignoring reporters questions and just walking away tt ( the extremely rare ) conferences, not answering or repeatedly reading script in parliament. Give me a break...at least Kono is active on Twitter.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Well if the Opposition can’t question the government or its members then what right does the unwashed masses have.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Don't engage with trolls...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

One of the great things about twitter is that you can block the flat earthers/QAnon/anti-vaxxers/Israeli space laser believers, doubtless some of those types are attacking him too.

Exactly

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Kono also said those blocked by him can still see his tweets.

That's news to me. I did not know this was currently possible..?

Addressing the matter at a press conference on Tuesday, Kono said he was well within his rights to block users who target him with hurtful language.

Really? That's really childish. A person who wants/contends for the PM's seat and hence will be the head of the country should just take the criticism. Because in reality there will be more tense situations, harsher international criticism, etc.

I myself witnessed a similar "provocation" when a Twitter user challenged him to substantiate the source of the numbers in one of his charts. There were no invectives or personal insults or attacks in the sentence. The sentence was merely "the numbers in your chart do not match the numbers from source XYZ. Can you please state where you got the numbers from? Thank you." This was one fact-checking account. Two days later, the information that they were blocked had already appeared. I could understand if he blocked someone who threatened him (which would be a case for the police, though), etc. However, a politically exposed person, unless the tweet is downright breaking the law, has to take a certain amount of criticism.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sounds like the perfect authoritarian for our times.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Arrogance sets in when somebody is hyped to the high heavens and seen as potential leader because they are good in English. Well, no surprises, locals able to speak in English are viewed as smart and International.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

locals able to speak in English are viewed as smart and International.

As are foreigners able to speak Japanese! Both in Japan and other countries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Reading about this guy moaning I'm reminded of what Margaret Thatcher said when asked what her opinion of Spitting Image was: "Is it funny?" I never cared for Margaret Thatcher very much, but I think that was a spot-on response. She would know better than to whine about some nasty comments on social media.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Truth hurt his pride, will he avoid conferences as Suga ? Absolutely as he lives like other politicians in another world...but still receiving millions from our taxes.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

He is either incompetent or just evil. Most of us still have no access to vaccines and zero news on when and how we can get appointments. His voucher system restricted access to vaccines for common people as he shipped all the vaccines to elite areas such as minato, while leaving the common people only lotteries as an option. Even people who are hospitalized and are at high risk are forced to wait for their city’s voucher to arrive in mail and their relatives to pick it before allowed a shot, which resulted in many deaths in hospitals. Yet he continue to push lies that people can get vaccines by November when that is clearly not the case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Twitter should just install a system where verified accounts can’t block users but can mute them.

I look at verified accounts as public figures and figures of interest. Because these accounts want people to know about them, they don’t deserve or get the luxury of choosing which people know about them and what they can say about them. For people who want to control their audiences there are protected accounts and newly introduced subscriptions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mr. Kono hates democracy, focusing on UFO and WAR with CHINA

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I would have done the same thing if I actually had Twitter. Too many trolls, moles, and holes out there.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Same degree of civility as in a real- life setting" .he said .

This is Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmmm, Kono already CAN’T take the heat, and he hasn’t even been elected or officially announced he’s in the running.

Sounds like he’ll make a really really really really really really really really great leader, huh Japan?

Seriously, is there not one legitimate person who can lead Japan?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am not sure what was posted in his twitter account, but if it was with abusive language, I think he has every right to do this, whether is it is his private or "public" account. I have had the same experience (the name calling, abusive language) when replying to a post regarding mask wearing, it is fine to disagree or voice ones opinion but have the decency to be respectful. I would have done the same thing if I had twitter (refuse to have one).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems our otherwise charming Kono-san is thin-skinned. If so, it would be unfortunate he became prime minister. Internet realms like Twitter are a microcosm of the real political world. This political world is a Divine Comedy of saints, sinners and outright screaming psychotic idiots. If Kono cannot handle Twitter you must wonder if he can handle the real political world as PM. When a leader starts "blocking" people you know that democracy will eventually be blocked as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"...with some users expressing frustration that someone in his position as a cabinet minister is unwilling to engage in dialogue..." A Japanese politician unwilling to engage in dialogue? "Shocking, just shocking!", said nobody.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Will he do the same thing to reporter if he didn't like reporter's question?" Japanese reporters' questions are typically submitted in advance to be vetted, the the politician knows who is going to ask what before he calls on them. Japanese pressers are a form of kabuki - everyone knows how the performance ends before it begins.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

well why i am "not surprised" at all?

just another *** in line.rude and "not naisu guy"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Twitter should be doing the policing, not the public figure who is in the running to be the leader of a country. If he's that thin skinned and can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

It's his account, he can do whatever he wants (although most likely someone is doing it for him). With 2.3 million followers, it makes sense to get rid of some of the noise.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well if the Opposition can’t question the government or its members then what right does the unwashed masses have.

All the opposition does is question the government, and that's why they'll always be "the opposition". They can't come up with anything constructive. Remember, it was the opposition parties that demanded domestic trials, delaying the start of COVID vaccinations in Japan.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If blocking people on twitter is unacceptable for some, I wonder how they would feel if he quit twitter altogether?

(probably exactly what they want actually)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Blocking people with different critical opinions?

Who would ever think he would tell people they are off topic, offensive, or vulgar!

Shameful on Kono. Accept all responses as long as there is clean language, not racist, anti-religion, or hateful.

Just my opinion

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He seems as though his skin isn’t quite thick enough to be the leader of a developed democracy.

It's good then that he is running for the PM of Japan position.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Censorship? Interesting. This Kono guy definitely seems par for the course. Can’t be no worse than a certain publication continually banning my critical posts

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You can see it by looking at the blocked accounts. The only ones blocked are the weirdos who spend all day every day complaining and criticizing the Japanese government.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And most of those strange behavioral people who are blocked support the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Japan Communist Party.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

therougouToday  11:56 am JST

All the opposition does is question the government, and that's why they'll always be "the opposition". They can't come up with anything constructive. 

It's quite funny you say that, because it seems that whenever someone criticises the government or the LDP, the first thing their supporters do is criticise the opposition. A bit easier than praising the government's record, I suppose.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You got a complaint write a letter!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Even I block people on twitter all the time. It's his goddamn account. he's free to do whatever the hell he wants with it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ therougouToday 11:56 am JST

All the opposition does is question the government, and that's why they'll always be "the opposition".

Questioning the government is one of the hallmarks and cornerstones of democracy. Government is usually elected by the people. And the government exists because individual citizens give it a temporary license to exist in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government, it does not own you. Questioning the government is not sign of "opposition", quite the contrary. But in here, no one questions the government. If someone does, he is labeled a troublemaker, etc.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And where is the news in this article?

Kono is a LDP prominent member,and they value everything but a democratic confrontation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You should have to pay to leave bad comments. And likewise have to pay to block someone. The money goes to charity, but the comment can still be erased or poster blocked.

keep people in check a bit more

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Just this (part of a) sentence says it all:

"........ unwilling to engage in dialogue ......"

Agree, if it's abusive, vulgar or some other kind of foul language he should have the right to block those so-called followers. The problem is with the "engaging in dialogue". Another one living in his comfortable, own little world without any connections to the "base"?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan's COVID-19 vaccine chief, Taro Kono must and should block abusive, vulgar comments.

And if deemed necessary report the abusers!

The question remains, may I suggest that Taro Kono has taken the opportunity to also block any critics questioning his suitability/competence.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Questioning the government is one of the hallmarks and cornerstones of democracy. Government is usually elected by the people. And the government exists because individual citizens give it a temporary license to exist in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government, it does not own you. Questioning the government is not sign of "opposition", quite the contrary. But in here, no one questions the government. If someone does, he is labeled a troublemaker, etc.

As I said, they do it all the time. This isn't China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just this (part of a) sentence says it all:

"........ unwilling to engage in dialogue ......"

Agree, if it's abusive, vulgar or some other kind of foul language he should have the right to block those so-called followers. The problem is with the "engaging in dialogue". Another one living in his comfortable, own little world without any connections to the "base"?

What? Kono is the one known for engaging through social media. I swear, is today opposites day?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's COVID-19 vaccine chief, Taro Kono is the next Prime Minster of Japan.

So a policy please.

Debt, has to be serviced?

Social care for the elderly has to be funded?.

How about childcare? has to be costed.

This was before Covid.

Taro Kono is yesterdays man, pretending to be tomorrow Prime Minster.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The right to block users online is a human right, Twitter Right. He has millions of followers, when you have those numbers is a necessary move.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's 2021.

Mr Kono like many other PMs around the world has a Twitter account.

All those PM around the World also blocks users who don't behave properly, bully, say means things.

This is not new. Old news. People have been doing it, politicians have been doing it, actors have been doing it, musicians have been doing it around the World!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lets be clear voting in this coming election whether for Kono, whoever. is politically a shot in the dark!

None have a coherent policy between them, they frankly don't,

If they all had a policy, any policy, they would publish.

Its frankly the most unpardonable, gross reprehensible betrayal of the most venerable of J society.

The silent majority,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What to these J politicians stand for?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Has it never occurred to the J electorate to ask, no insist, before the ballot box

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

i would like to see what kind of.posts he blocked. If is vulgar or excessively rude, then blocking is fine. If he is blocking polite but differing opinions, then, as a politician, he should develop thicker skin.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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