Record number of minors fall victim to crime via social media
Japan Today -- Apr 21
Japan again saw a record number of minors falling victim to crimes such as molestation through the use of social media last year, with many of those affected having had unrestricted Internet access, police data released Thursday showed.

Although there were fewer people victimized through the use of chat services connecting total strangers, cases involving social media for connecting multiple acquaintances have increased, according to a report by the National Police Agency.

A total of 1,736 people under 18 had been victimized in the full year, beating the previous record of 1,652 in 2015 by 84, and more than doubling from the levels in 2008, when police began keeping records.

Of the victims, females accounted for 94.8 percent while 86.9 percent used smartphones. A total of 88.2 percent of the 1,465 victims whom police were able to confirm their device status had no Internet filtering, the data showed.

"There are dangers in regular applications and websites people commonly use, and they can be victimized depending on how they use the services," an NPA official said, urging parents to introduce Internet filters to protect their children.

A conference of online site operators will be set up within this fiscal year to take preventive measures as well, the official said.

The largest number of cases involved victims using Twitter at 446, nearly doubling from the previous year, while those using the Gyaruru chat app fell to 136 from 203.

News source: Japan Today
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