Woody and Jim

Woody and Jim

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Insult someone online? Japan Is Jailing People For It.

Teenage bullying on smart phone

Photo: Getty Images

Everyone agrees online bullying is out of control and can destroy people's lives AND their mental well being.

Japanese is hitting back hard. If you insult someone online, you can be fined 300,000 yen (approximately $2,200) and uo to ONE YEAR in prison.

In the past, they had fines there. But they were just 30 days in jail and a $75 fine. So this is really upping their anti-bulling game.

They'll examine the new sentences in 3 years to see if it affects people's freedoms too much. That's what opponents say.

But hears the rub. The law doesn't really define an "insult". The law says in general that an insult is demeaning someone without a specific fact about them. But criminal lawyer Seiho Cho, in Japan talking to The Verge, says “At the moment, even if someone calls the leader of Japan an idiot, then maybe under the revised law that could be classed as an insult.

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. The intention is good because of the many studies that link online bullying to suicide (especially in teens and children).

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