Friday Forum – We bring the hottest questions from the Chinese Social & Digital space to our brightest minds.
Given that the riots in the US are partially enabled by social media, do you think the same thing could ever happen in Japan?
Executive Creative Director / We Are Social
Hana Kimura，一位出现在Netflix最新一集真人秀《排屋公寓》中的日本职业摔跤手，自杀身亡时年仅22岁。她在节目中扮演的是一个恶棍，但不幸的是，这也为她招来了巨大的网络暴力。这个事件展示出了在社交媒体的驱动下，私刑暴力在日本可能会产生的力量和损害，无论原因如是什么。虽然目前网络暴力在日本并不是刑事犯罪，但Hana Kimura的死已经使得日本执政党考虑新的立法。
"The nail that sticks out gets hammered in"
This is a quote often used to describe the Japanese mentality.
Mainly in a bad sense...
Hana Kimura, a professional Japanese wrestler who appeared in the latest series of Netflix's reality show Terrace House, committed suicide at the age of 22. She played the role of a villain on the show, and sadly, it ignited tremendous cyberbullying. This incident showcases the power and damage social media-driven lynch mobs can have in Japan, regardless of its cause. While cyberbullying is not currently a criminal offense in Japan, Kimura’s death has led Japan’s ruling party to consider new legislation.
Social Media Planner / We Are Social
我认为在日本可能会发生同样的事情。 我们有一种根据情况使用“ Honne（真实意图）”和“ Tatemae（公共立场）”的文化。 Twitter之类的社交媒体之所以在日本如此流行，是因为它的匿名性和人们可以在里面表达自己真实情感的权利。因此，对于日本人来说，社交媒体提供了一种人们可以通过真情实感轻松与他人连接的环境，从而形成一个群体，并发出很大的声音。在日本，由于线上言论会引发线下活动，而线下活动会被分享到线上，从而导致线上和线下的边界正在消失。在这样的环境下，我认为在社交中呼声最大的言论可能会导致大量的线下小组活动。
I think it's possible that the same thing could happen in Japan. We have a culture of using "Honne (real intention)" and "Tatemae (public stance)" depending on the situation. The reason why social media like Twitter is popular in Japan is because of its anonymity and the ability to express one's true feelings. Therefore, for Japanese people, social media is an environment where it is easy to connect with people through their true feelings, form a group, and create a big voice. In Japan, the barriers between online and offline are disappearing, as online voices lead to offline actions and offline events are shared online. In such an environment, I think there is a possibility that a big voice formed in social will lead to a large group action offline.
Eleanor Jane Hall
Content Creator / We Are Social
Social media may be global but local culture plays a huge role in its offline impact. Japan is a collectivist country that doesn’t have enough people speaking out online or offline to trigger riots of this scale. But, as social media makes us all more aware and connected to global issues, it’s no longer okay to plead ignorance.
I doubt we’ll see crowds taking to the streets of Japan anytime soon, however, I have seen people using social media to educate themselves and speak their minds. I hope the freedom and diversity that can be found online encourages more people to stand up for what they believe is right.
Intern / We Are Social
The powerful protests that we are witnessing today in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement have only exposed the strained race relations in Japan, as people are beginning to see contrasts between officers and the law.
However, in Japan, it’s not at the same rate where tensions could ignite riots of the same nature and scale. Instead, social media platforms are making Japanese people aware of the racial injustices that exist in their society. Perhaps on a smaller scale, the riots seen in America can be replicated in Japan, due to a rising realization that racial profiling and discrimination is no longer acceptable.