Twitter gives everyone a voice. Too bad some people use that voice to be mean to people they don't know.
Today in Japan, the following tweet appeared on 2ch, the country's largest forum. The young woman who tweeted it, wrote, "I'm on the train now (lol). There's a fatty taking up three seats by himself (lol). [My friend] and I are cracking up right now. And that game is fuuuuuuucking old! Gameboy Advance (lol)."
On 2ch, people did appear amused. "This person just made enemies with GBA fans," wrote one 2ch commenter. "What's wrong with the Advance..." asked another. Others said it was wrong to mock people like this, while some wondered if this means you'll get mocked if you play retro games on the train.
"Isn't that a Game Boy Colour game?" one commenter wryly asked, and another pointed out that if men take photos of women without their permission, they get arrested (while the same isn't true for women who do it.) The commenter added that it seemed like discrimination.
The tweet has since been deleted, and the account has been locked. But photos of the young woman's tweet continue to circulate online, and the young woman, who is still in high school, is being spammed like crazy right now. Internet vigilante justice is in full force, with some Twitter users even publishing what's apparently the phone number for her high school so people can report her behaviour. There is a precedent for this: Back in 2012, one high school in Japan even apologized for a student's idiotic tweets.
"Taking peeping photos is a crime," wrote one Twitter user. "I am going to report you to your school and to the cyber police."
As Kotaku previously pointed out, Japanese privacy laws are incredibly strict, and you can be sued for taking photos of people without their permission -- even if that is done in a public place.
This is yet another example of a young person getting on Twitter and doing something stupid or mean. It's also another example of the internet taking things into its own hands, and, for better or worse, meting out what it seems fit. Teens today don't just get a voice, they also get to experience the consequences in a very public space -- in a way that previous generations were able to avoid.
One commenter might have put it best. "Smartphone should be restricted to those 20 years old and up. It would be better if licenses were used." I'd suggest extending that to the entire internet as well.