Online abuse and then stabbing to death: did the blogger deserve that?

It is reported that a Japanese blogger who had gone to a seminar to share how to grow traffic and deal with trolls, fell victim to a troll's physical assault. Ironically, he was a cyber security expert and had just told the gathering how to deal with trolls!

Kenichiro Okamoto, the blogger, had finished his seminar and gone to the bathroom where his online harasser, Hidemitsu Matsumoto, stabbed him to death. Matsumoto later surrendered before Fukuoka city police and said he held a grudge against the blogger after their online spat, and he had been planning to kill him.

The killer seems to have a criminal mind as he was a regular troll online and used a number of anonymous handles on social media. His account had been frozen by a blogging service that he was using, but he had bragged that he was not afraid of such actions and had continued with his online harassment of social media users.

bloggers at risk

Bloggers and other users of social media need to be wary of trolls, especially when they are persistent. In this case, Matsumoto had been harassing Okamoto since 2016. Women bloggers especially need to be wary of commenters, followers and friends whose identities look suspect and who persist with their views or become exceptionally warm, or abusive, for no reason.

Experts suggest that bloggers and other social media users should not encourage trolls and online abusers by joining issues with them. Abuses need not be returned but ignored. Too much eagerness to become friends needs to be seen with suspicion. Children need to be told to inform parents when someone asks for address, photo, parents'/ school's details or lures them with gifts for doing something.