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After Hana Kimura, a professional Japanese wrestler who appeared in Netflix's Big Brother-style show Terrace House died in an apparent suicide, it emerged that she had been the victim of a sustained cyber-bullying campaign.
The final update on the 22-year-old’s Instagram story on May 22, 2020, featured a photo of her with her cat, with a caption that read "goodbye".
Earlier that day, she had written on Twitter: "I get nearly 100 rude remarks every day. I can’t deny feeling hurt."
And today, one of the online trolls who had been found to be posting vile comments has been fined 9,999 yen (about £66) which is the maximum punishment under Japanese law for making public insults.
The man, from Osaka, is known to have sent at least eight social media messages to Kimora including: "You have such an awful personality", "Is your life worth living?" and "When will you die?"
Kimura had a popular contestant on Terrace House but found herself the target of sustained online abuse after she got into an argument with another housemate, comedian Kai Edward Kobayashi.
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Kai went on to leave the show, sparking a torrent of hateful comments directed at Kimora on social media.
A subsequent investigation found that producers had scripted the row and that Kimura was uncomfortable with how she had been told to behave.
Other Terrace House cast members have reported brutal online abuse from the show’s fans. Basketball player Ryo Tawatari said he had been told that the abuse is part of the "price" of being a celebrity.
"But is it really right? I receive lots of slander every day," he said, adding: "Other members are in agony too."
The show has since been cancelled by the Japanese network Fuji TV and Netflix has said that it won’t be streaming any further episodes.
Japans communications minister Sanae Takaichi, said at the time of Kimora’s death: "Anonymously hurting people is a mean and unforgivable act. We need to properly implement procedures to disclose information on senders to curb online abuses and rescue victims."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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