They also regularly play up conflict on social media, hoping to drive more viewers to the show, Mr. Shizume said.

In Ms. Kimura’s case, “the promotional videos for the shows were edited to show her saying some nasty lines,” he said, adding that “negative posts online really boosted social media interest.”

Producers religiously monitor the social media response to their shows, said Tamaki Tsuda, who works on the high school dating show “Who Is the Wolf?”

“The trash talk drove interest in the show,” she said. “They understood that and used it, and I expect they were aware of what was happening with Hana’s social media.”

While Ms. Kimura’s death has prompted self-reflection about online hate and the nature of reality shows, some in Japan seem impervious to those lessons.
- Ben Dooley and Hikari Hida, After Reality Star’s Death, Japan Vows to Rip the Mask Off Online Hate, NYT, June 1, 2020

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