Japan will be sending people who hurl online insults to jail and face fines in the process.
The new law is set to take effect Thursday, July 7. The individuals who are found to be guilty of posting online insults will face a fine of up to 300,000 yen and up to 12 months in prison time.
The punishment was raised from 10,000 yen and 30 days of jail time. The country will re-examine the bill after 3 years to determine if it has impacted freedom of expression, while others say that it can slow down cyberbullying.
Japanese officials called for a cyberbullying crackdown after Hana Kimura, a reality show star committed suicide. It was later revealed that she received online abuse on the internet. Research shows that cyberbullying has a direct effect on suicidal behaviors on adolescents and children.
Other countries such as the UK have recently passed laws on ‘grossly offensive’ public messages.
Steven Ovellette is an editor at Readability. He has worked with Readability for over five years, and during that time he has edited a variety of content, ranging from articles on gadgets to gaming news.