Expert Seeks Multifaceted Approach over Online Abuse of Athletes

Society

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--With many athletes in the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games falling prey to social media abuse, an expert has stressed the need for the whole society to take a multifaceted approach in addressing the problem.

Olympians using social media have voiced their pain over online attacks against them, with one of them saying, "Even if I don't want to see (abusive comments), they catch my eye," and another commenting, "I can't stand for it."

Revealing that she was a victim of online slander, Japanese gymnast Mai Murakami, 24, said after Thursday's all-around final, "I just barely managed to keep myself together by consulting people around me." Noting that she deleted her social media posts that attracted aggressive comments, she said in tears, "I was very sad."

Shinichi Yamaguchi, associate professor at the International University of Japan's Center for Global Communications and expert on social media issues, found in a survey that one in every 70,000 people in Japan has been involved in online posts that came under fire.

Pointing out that many people do not differentiate fair criticism from slander, Yamaguchi said, "Even if the number of online abusers is small, massive attacks could come in due to the large number of social media users."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press