About 10 percent of people in their 20s said they would join in posting online "flaming" and would spread the criticism to other websites, according to the results of the Agency for Cultural Affairs' 2016 Opinion Survey on the Japanese Language released on Sept. 21.
"Flaming" refers to bombarding someone with negative comments online, and the percentage of people in their 20s who reported they would engage in the practice was about four times that of the average of all generations, indicating that a portion of those in their 20s are instigating the online bullying.
Overall, 0.5 percent of respondents said they would "most likely" join in or spread flaming if they came across it on the internet, and 2.2 percent said that they "occasionally" would. When analyzed by age group, people in their 20s came in first at 10.7 percent, with teenagers coming in second at 5.3 percent. In comparison, only 3.6 percent of people in their 30s, 3.3 percent of those in their 40s and slightly over 1 percent of those in their 50s, 60s, and those over 70 reported that they would join in flaming.
The survey has been conducted annually since fiscal 1995 in order to investigate citizens' opinions and level of understanding of the Japanese language. It is conducted via face-to-face interviews with men and women aged 16 or older. This year, answers were collected from 2,015 participants, for a response rate of 56.5 percent.
Of the results concerning flaming, "The reason why people in their 20s would participate in flaming more than teenagers requires further investigation," a representative of the cultural affairs agency commented.