Japanese slang that represents the SNS era

It’s been quite a while since the advent of SNS. It’s widespread in the world, which helps us to communicate online more effortlessly. However, issues do occur whenever something new comes into being.

Japanese slang catching on through SNS such as Twitter

Checking Twitter can expose you to a flood of information.
Checking Twitter can expose you to a flood of information.


I write on here about the slang Japanese people like to use on social media. Those words date back nearly the last decade and still in everyday use.

Bakatter or バカッター

Twitter could drive people to do such a stupid act. Some go so far as to brag about crimes they’ve committed without realizing they’re in public. As a result, it’s too late before they could know anything is terribly going wrong. They’ll have to pay a heavy price for what they’ve done: to be under fire and face a lawsuit in the worst scenario.

Bakatter is a disparaging word for such idiots and Twitter itself, which is created by ‘residents‘ of 2ch1, one of the biggest online bulletin board what is now 5ch. For example, if someone tweets: “I shoplifted a lottery at the shrine,” people will be just like “another Bakatter appeared.”

Watch your mouth, or you'll be under fire.
Watch your mouth, or you’ll find yourself under fire.


What is Bakatter named after?

is a compound of Baka and Twitter.
(馬鹿、バカ):idiot, stupid, blockhead, etc.


How is a bunch of Bakatter spotted in the first place?

To make a long story short, the word “braindead” describes it best. The people called Bakatter are not quite aware that a crime is a crime, and to be more precise, they believe no one will spot a tweet of their wrongdoings. They do so just for fun or for decoration that makes themselves look better, which is pretty harsh for the general public with common sense and to say the least, one of the most disgraceful acts.

Bazuru or バズる

If something goes viral on Twitter, it’s bazuru or bazutta in the past tense. The word originates from an English word, ‘buzz.’ Japanese users are familiar with the term, but some of them may be ignorant of its origin.

Hot tweets, as it were, bazutta tweets will be full of different replies, among which are so annoying, tiring, and unpleasant that you’re going to get sick and tired. People consider them as クソリプ or shitty replies.

Anime icon on Twitter

This is a kind of off topic, but have you seen any ‘anime icons’ on Twitter before? Most of you should say, “Yes, I have, at least once.” Nerds or Japanese Otaku ((Of course, I am too.)) are highly likely to set their profile photos as fictional characters such as manga, anime, and video games. The subject, ‘Anime icon’ is a collective name for the people, and they often appear to be detrimental to those who are not.

You know why? Because they’re prone to speaking jargon; missing the point, and ending up going on the rampage. So if they’re making a fuss, some might think “Another anime icon, they’re at it again.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s wrong to prefer those icons, but as for me, they should know better than to disgrace their favorite characters whether or not they’re conscious of it.

You can do anything, but unless it’s a nuisance. Please take better care of whatever you love, guys, or he or she would shed tears.


The spate of part-time worker’s terrorism in recent years

So that’s pretty much it for Bakatter. Speaking of Bakatter, I have another issue to tell you: ‘those responsible for so-called pranks at work.’

We call them part-time terrorists or part-time (workers’) terrorism for deeds2. This social issues involved ‘Stories,’ a newly introduced feature into Instagram at the time. Footage taken with the system will not be available within 24 hours. In most cases, part-time terrorists take a movie of their misconducts to upload, assuming that the video will be automatically unavailable before anyone could see it. Of course, it will, at least from the website.

Contrary to their belief, however, everyone will get easy access to the footage once someone brings it out in time and disclose it on another SNS. Guess what happens next? Yes, the clip of delinquency goes viral when shared by innumerous users. Thus, quite a few youngsters messed up and got punished by their bosses.

In the worst case, you could face a criminal charge for what you’ve done if it’s just for fun.


Bad manners of Instagram users

People taking pictures
It’s no longer unusual to see people taking photos in public.


This is mainly the case with female users, and it grosses me out most. As you know, Instagram is a photo-sharing service available for free of charge. Users are eager to draw attention one way or another, but it takes a lot of energy.

Then, what they can do to get more views is to take shocking, imposing, and intriguing photos. Meanwhile, corporations of all shapes and sizes are trying to make the most of the service in a desperate effort to promote their products.

So here’s what happens. Companies (especially those of the food industry) keep producing items of which Instagram users are going to take pictures that are, so to speak, insuta-bae3, photogenic enough for Instagram. Both of them seem to take advantage of each other, but they can go to extremes and end up giving rise to another issue: throwing away food without eating it.

How does it occur? It arises from the pursuit of profit: money and views. Let me take a restaurant for instance. They come up with too luxury and wasteful a menu such as a heap of meats, a towering pile of ice cream, and you name it. Once the dish comes off their hands, they won’t take a loss; likewise, Instagramers considers it ‘done for‘ after taking some pictures for viewers. What a waste!

That being said, many of us regard them as disgusting because we have traditionally learned not to waste food through household education and social custom. Throwing away something, though still eatable, is not what we’re willing to do, which is the mottainai spirit we usually have.

In any case, we ridicule the absurd users as insta-fly4, which gathers anywhere that they think will increase views.

In conclusion

Perhaps these shameful incidents today are occurring anywhere across the globe. Social media is so useful a tool for communication, but if you use it the wrong way, it will turn into a mirror that reveals your true colors and exposes your ugliness to the others. We must bear it in mind.

Social media is developing as rapidly as smartphones, but are human beings even trying to keep up with them? I think, no. The recent scandals make me feel as if technology were controlling and brainwashing dozens of people who would have used it — quite an irony.

So what’s your take on the social media issue in modern times? Leave a comment to let me know.

  1. or perhaps by those outside Twitter including 2ch []
  2. バイトテロ in Japanese []
  3. or インスタ映え in Japanese []
  4. インスタ蠅 in Japanese. It has the same sound as insuta-bae, but with a different intonation. []