TOKYO -- Roughly half of entertainers in Japan who responded in a survey said they have been directly harassed online, according to the results announced at the national conference of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence on June 7.
The harassment has come in many forms, including denying their abilities, personalities, and appearance, and posting their personal information. The study authors urged social media firms to take countermeasures.
The survey was conducted by a research group led by Tokyo-based tech giant CyberAgent Inc. and critic Chiki Ogiue. The team ran an online questionnaire from September to November 2021, and received responses from 84 celebrities including entertainers and 129 online influencers.
According to the results, 52% of celebrities and 31% of influencers had experienced "direct harassment," in which specific individuals targeted them with ad hominem attacks or obscene language in replies to social media posts and in other forums.
Fifty-four percent of celebrities and 32% of influencers had had personal information such as home addresses exposed on social media or internet bulletin boards, or had photoshopped pictures of them posted without their permission.
Many of the victims reported being affected psychologically by the attacks, with some saying, "I don't want to look at the internet for a while," "It's hard. I can't recover," and, "I want to delete my (social media) accounts."
Online defamation has become increasingly serious, as evidenced by the suicide of professional wrestler Hana Kimura, then 22, in 2020 after she was bullied on social media, triggered by her appearance on the reality TV show Terrace House.
The research group suggested that potentially effective countermeasures include displaying messages that urge users to reconsider before sending offensive posts on social media.
(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Harada, Digital News Group)