Last year, Hana Kimura, a pro-wrestler and star of the Japanese reality show Terrace House: Tokyo, reportedly took her life following relentless cyber-bulling. Now a Japanese court has charged an unnamed Osaka man $81 over his abusive messages towards Kimura, the Washington Post reports. It's rare to see courts come down on cyber-bullying in general, but this particular ruling has struck some of Kimura's fans as particularly lenient. Online trolls are a dime-a-dozen, but in this case, the messages to Kimura included asking her, "When will you die?"
What should be the true cost of cyber-bullying, especially when it leads to a potential suicide? In December, Nikkei Asia reported that the Osaka man, who admitted to a public insult charge, could be imprisoned for up to 29 days, or up to 10,000 yen (around $90). The final ruling is on the high-end of the potential fine, but doesn't include any jail time. Nikkei notes the troll told police that he wanted to "get back" at Kimura, following an incident with a male cast member on Terrace House (which also led to a slew of hateful messages from other viewers). He's also written an apology letter to Kimura's family, according to investigators.
Kyoko Kimura, the star's mother and a professional wrestler herself, also took the producers of Terrace House to task for stoking conflict between its contestants. She filed a claim of human rights abuse, the Washington Post reports, but that was struck down by Japan's Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization. It admitted that Terrace House's parent network, Fuji TV, had "problems in terms of broadcasting ethics," ..