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In Japan, online bullying can ruin the lives of not only individuals but also their families. Its roots lie in traditional beliefs that shameful deeds derive from bad blood, with the badness extending beyond the shamed individual to their kin, even to future generations.

Thus the ancient punishment of mura hachibu — social ostracism — still exists in forms adapted to the digital age, with consequences that can be extreme and long-lasting.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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