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Japan's parliament approved a bill that would impose jail terms on citizens who offend users on social media. This is reported by CNN.
The tightening of legislation is connected with the growth of cyberbullying and public outrage against the backdrop of the death of reality TV star Hana Kimura, who committed suicide due to insults and a wave of hate in social networks.
The amendment to the criminal code, which will come into force in the summer of 2022, provides for imprisonment for up to 12 months or a fine of up to $2,200 for citizens found guilty. The current legislation prescribes punishments in the form of arrest up to 30 days or a fine of up to $75.
The new bill, approved by the parliament, was ambiguously perceived in society. Some speakers believe that the amendment to the criminal code will violate freedom of speech in the country and allow the authorities to send opposition members who criticize the current government to prison.
Japanese lawyer Seiho Cho claims that the new version of the document does not clearly spell out concept of “offensive on the Internet”.
“Guidelines need to be developed to define what is considered offensive. For example, at present, even if someone calls the leader of Japan an idiot, then perhaps, under the revised law, this can be qualified as an insult”, — the expert draws attention.
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