A Japanese man has been fined 9,000 yen (S$110) for posting malicious comments on social media targeting Hana Kimura, pro-wrestler and cast member of Netflix’s reality show Terrace House: Tokyo.
Hana, who was 22, is believed to have committed suicide last May following weeks of abuse from online trolls.
The man, who is alleged to have cyberbullied Hana by tweeting hateful comments such as “You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?” and "Hey, when are you going to die?", told police that he wanted to “get back” at Hana after seeing her verbally abuse housemate Kai Kobayashi, who had accidentally shrunk her wrestling outfit in the washing machine.
According to Hana's mother, her daughter was pressured into faking a confrontation for the cameras.
After the on-screen altercation was aired, Hana became the target of cyberbullies and reportedly received at least 300 abusive comments on Twitter, though more than half have since been deleted.
Yesterday, a second man was referred to the police for allegedly posting hateful messages against Hana including “You’re disgusting” and "Die" last April.
While Hana’s mother has expressed gratitude for the police action before the one-year statute of limitations for the public insult charge expires, she says she feels "regret" that not all of her daughter’s cyberbullies had been charged.
Many netizens also found the fine too lenient and took to social media to decry that there is “no justice”.
“If he can get away with [a] 9,000 yen [fine], I’m worried that the number of cyberbullies will increase,” one fan tweeted, while another said: “US$80 is not the cost of a human being’s life.”