Online Bully's Fine in Netflix Star's Suicide: $80

'When will you die?' he asked Hana Kimura
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2021 9:19 AM CDT
Online Bully Fined in Netflix Star's Suicide. The Cost: $80
Hana Kimura appears on Netflix's "Terrace House."   (YouTube)

A Japanese man has been fined $80 over online abuse directed at a reality star who later took her own life. Pro-wrestler Hana Kimura committed suicide last May after suffering social media abuse related to her appearance on Netflix's Terrace House, a reality show following six young people who live together in one house in Japan. The abuse increased after an episode, aired only in Japan, showed Kimura arguing with one of her roommates in Tokyo, per the BBC. The 22-year-old reportedly posted images of self-harm and worrying messages on Twitter before she was found dead. "You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?" the man who was fined had written on her social media account, per the Japan Times. "When will you die?" he added. Many other users had directed similar abuse at the wrestler.

The unidentified man, believed to be in his 20s and from Osaka, was charged with “insults," which brings a maximum fine of 9,999 yen or $90. He was fined 9,000 yen or $80 but does not need to face trial, per the Times. For many onlookers, the penalty is too lenient. "If he can get away with ¥9,000, I'm worried that the number of cyberbullies will increase," one Twitter user writes, per the Times. "There is no justice," writes another. The BBC notes it's unclear why the man wasn't charged with defamation, which brings a maximum fine of 500,000 yen. Kimura's mother has sued the man for emotional distress, per the Washington Post. She's also fighting to hold Terrace House producer FujiTV accountable, saying it treated cast members as "mere pawns." The network was cleared of a human rights violation Tuesday, but vowed to "make efforts to tackle social media related issues." (More suicide stories.)

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