Instacrime and Punishment.

Social media is often looked at as a den of negativity and sexual predators, but like most technology, it also has the capacity for good – both intentionally and unintentionally as we will soon see.

On the morning of 8 August, a motorbike belonging to a 39-year-old woman was stolen from the parking lot of her apartment building in Hakata Ward, Fukuoka City. In addition to contacting the police, the victim’s brother sent out a call for help on social media, asking anyone for information leading to the whereabouts of the bike.

The response was overwhelming, and thanks to the nearly 200 reports they received, police were able to locate the bike that same day and arrested its 15-year-old rider for not having a license.

▼ Well son, on the bright side, you’ve been trending all day.

While one boy was caught red-handed, further investigation revealed that he had an accomplice of the same age. Both admitted to the theft, and the final nail in their coffin was fact that one of them posted a photo of themselves with the bike and the caption “I stole a bike.”

And so, this case was closed faster than it takes to close a social media account, and justice was served. Although the way hundreds of people rallied together to help was very inspiring, most comments chose to focus on the stupidity of the offenders.

“Why are you providing evidence against yourself? lol”
“I’m worried about Internet literacy in Japan.”
“When you steal something, the first thing to do is hide it, not post on Instagram.”
“It’s a law of the Internet that stupid people will do themselves in eventually.”

The Internet didn’t get its reputation as a den of negativity for nothing, after all. But one fun detail in all this is the similarity this story has to the angsty classic “15 No Yoru” (“Night of 15,” or just “The Night”) by the late Yutaka Ozaki.

Especially given the age of the offenders, many commenters were reminded of the song’s emotionally charged refrain: “Running away on a stolen bike; without knowing where to go; piercing into the dark night; I don’t want to be bound by anyone and escaped in this night; I became free; the night of 15.”

▼ The first refrain starts about 1:50

Sadly, Ozaki’s life was cut short in the early ’90s so he can’t see how the themes of his song have evolved in 2020: Running away on a stolen bike; stopping to take pictures and piercing them into the dark web; escaping in broad daylight in front of 200 witnesses and turning in friends; the late afternoon of 15.

Source: KBC, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!