Nagoya – Across several posts in September, Noah Tsukino, 18, made her suicidal thoughts known to her social media followers.
Under different circumstances the jobs of the young Nagoya, a former member of a small idol group and known in some circles of the city’s youth, may have been a warning and resulted in getting the help she needed.
Instead, Tsukino became another victim of cyberbullying in a country where such stories have become far too familiar.
The posts where she referred to her suicidal ideals received intoxicating comments, including one that said she “just faked it.”
On September 27, Tsukino left a final message in response to the abusive comment, in which he thanked his friends and other loved ones, and affirmed her decision to end her life, saying, “The next thing I will do is are dying. ”
Tsukino and one of his friends killed themselves in downtown Nagoya on September 30. In a suicide note, she noted that cyberbullying had pushed her to take her own life.
Tsukino’s mother confirmed the death of her daughter the following day, shortly after the media reported the incident. The news was met with distress among young people online, many of whom mourned that it was not saved.
Netizens soon referred their fury to those who had criticized Tsukino, especially the one who had called her a “faker” on Twitter. That comment was subsequently deleted.
A female colleague was targeted at a maid cafe where Tsukino had also worked part-time, with a YouTuber even posting a video in which the girl was forced to kneel down and beg for forgiveness.
Tsukino’s mother, who fears that such acts of revenge will only lead to more victims, has called for the abusive jobs to end.
“This is not what my daughter would have wanted,” he said.
Calls for legal changes regarding cyberbullying have been growing since Hana Kimura, 22, cast member of Netflix’s popular reality show “Terrace House,” was found dead in suspicion of suicide in May after becoming a target of messages hateful on social media.
Last month, a government panel proposed reducing court procedures so that victims of cyberbullying can more quickly identify individuals doing defamatory jobs.
A panel of the communications ministry received more than 5,000 complaints of online abuse including defamation in fiscal 2019, about a fourfold jump from fiscal 2010. The government plans to introduce a bill to review current law to common Diet session next year.
But Chiki Ogiue, an informed critic of the issue of cyberbullying, said online abuse is likely to continue to perpetrate such tragedies unless social media platforms take more proactive measures.
“There needs to be a system that evaluates the appropriateness of an aggressive job when one is done,” he said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In an emergency, call 119 in Japan for immediate assistance. The TELL Helpline is available to those who need free anonymous counseling at 03-5774-0992. You can also visit them at telljp.com. For those in other countries, visit www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for a detailed list of resources and support.
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