You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. Apparently, if I were to post that as an insult to someone in Japan, I could now face criminal charges in Japan. Yes, that’s right. Apparently, they already allowed for 30 days, but now it’s a year in jail if you do something like this. While some may be thrilled by this idea, with all of the negative attacks in the cybersphere, this is just plain crazy talk. Free speech is far more important, and while we should all be civil, the world has been filled with sensitive people who have no problem with trolling, and claiming foul later.
Japan has updated its penal code to make insulting people online a crime punishable by a year of incarceration.
An amendment [PDF] that passed the House of Councillors (Japan’s upper legislative chamber) on Monday spells out that insults designed to hurt the reader can now attract increased punishments.