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Censorship Crime Japan Your Rights Online

Japanese Police Charge 2channel Founder Over Forum Posts 62

identity0 writes "According to Japan Probe, Hiroyuki Nishimura, the founder of, has been charged with drug offenses by Japanese police over a forum post made on 2ch in 2010. He is not even accused of making the post, but of failure to have moderators delete it. The post apparently discussed drugs. (also called 2channel) is Japan's biggest forum, with over a million posts a day, of which the post in question was one. The site inspired image board (but is not directly related to it), which spawned copycat English site More info at Slashdot Japan, if you can read Japanese."
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Japanese Police Charge 2channel Founder Over Forum Posts

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  • by musikit ( 716987 ) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @06:58PM (#42353525)


  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @07:02PM (#42353569) Homepage

    So why did the police not arrest the obvious culprits ... all those moderators, each of which failed to delete that straw in the hay stack.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because computers are hard.

      Let's go bake cookies for the boys

    • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:19PM (#42354849) Journal

      Even more fun: according to TFA, the guy they're charging sold the site some time before the post in question was made. He created the site, but wasn't in charge when this happened.

      2Channel organized a protest against Fuji TV, who responded by running scandal story about 2channel being used by drug dealers. I guess if you annoy the media in Japan you expect prison time? Any Japanese /. readers care to clue us in here?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Abetting drug dealing is the crime they're claiming. They're trying to extend it to an obligation to prevent drug dealing. To abet he has to have read them and known they were real and not done anything about them.

      He is not obligated to read every post and moderate those posts for possible illegality. He can't anyway, he can't know the people behind it and can't know if they are trolls or dealers, even if he bothered to read every post.

      So this is a pretty shameful attempt by the Japanese police to extend a

    • by vix86 ( 592763 )
      There's a tendency in Japan to place the blame for serious problems on the people up top. For instance, political campaign scandals in Japan, which may often only involve people in the middle of the organization, can and have landed many politicians in jail. It works similarly with the yakuza and likewise with corporations.

      So even though the fault clearly lies with the moderators, they're trying to blame the person at the top, the founder.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      They are probably hoping he will tell them who is responsible, but 2ch has made a fair bit of effort to prevent it being governed by Japanese law.

      There are no moderators in 2ch, just admins who can delete posts, but they rarely ever do.

  • How did he piss off the police department that they are going after him like this?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For comparison, here's how 4chan is being handled [] (sorry for image rather than text).

    TL;DR: there is not only thorough infiltration, but even the servers themselves have been physically moved to a rack owned by the spooks. With the amount of CP being posted to 4chan, it's not that surprising - what is interesting is that instead of playing whack-a-mole with chan sites, the biggest site itself has been partially subverted. At the cost of site quality (no moderation is done other than CP), but for the ease of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The 2chan guys have been sued hundreds of times. They simply ignore it. There are countless default judgements against them, which they also ignore.
    I guess something about Japanese law makes these things toothless.

    • Not just the law, the criminal system as well.

      It's an open secret that the Japanese police tends to only pursue those crimes where there's also a good chance of getting a conviction or the situation requires it. Certainly makes for a good clear-up rate on paper, but it also means a lot of not so clean-cut murders are registered as accidents or natural causes.

  • I forwarded this along to my Japanese wife, who went and researched into the issue. Her response:

    That article is not accurate. The police has identified at least 50 drug dealers using the website to sell illegal drugs now. The police has requested the founder to delete those posts many times, but he claimed that the ownership of the site has been sold to someone (which turned out to be a lie), kept ignoring the police warnings, and left the posts there.

    2ch used to be one of the most popular forums, but the quality of posts have been questionable in the past couple of years. In fact, my uncle owned a clinic and someone kept posting horrible stuff about the clinic, so my uncle had to move his practice to other place and changed the clinic name. They tried to sue 2ch for not doing quality control properly but back then, there were no laws that could protect their rights. 2ch is now turning into something different where you can buy/sell illegal stuff and adult/kids porn. It's really really bad.

    If the situation was the case as Japan Probe reported, there would be some more mainstream news sources picking up on it (Asahi, Yomiuri, BBC, etc). I would evaluate their article with a grain of salt.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker