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Japanese Police Charge 2channel Founder Over Forum Posts

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the but-the-food-is-great dept.

Censorship 62

identity0 writes "According to Japan Probe, Hiroyuki Nishimura, the founder of 2ch.net, 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. 2ch.net (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 2chan.net (but is not directly related to it), which spawned copycat English site 4chan.net. More info at Slashdot Japan, if you can read Japanese."

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62 comments

holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (5, Funny)

musikit (716987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353525)

shiranakatta!

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353587)

I guess that answers my question as to whether anyone else was surprised by that. I will say this, though. Once translated into English, that site is hilarious.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42353755)

What about that epson ad [advertising.com] for a NP31S? I didn't know they made adult toys.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353631)

I am as stunned as you are. How many other localized /.s are there I wonder? Is there a slashdot in Russia? Germany? I think its neat.
Sadly I don't read any Japanese at all.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353787)

I am as stunned as you are.

There's a link to Slashdot Japan at the bottom of every page, and has been for a long time.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42366717)

What's funny is that they don't even link back to this site :p (Just found the link, which was set as hidden in the stylesheet...)
I bet some of their readers don't even know it originated from here.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42368375)

What's funny is that they don't even link back to this site :p (Just found the link, which was set as hidden in the stylesheet...)
I bet some of their readers don't even know it originated from here.

Perhaps because slashdot.jp seems to be owned by OSDN.jp, whereas slashdot.org now belongs to Dice.

Maybe they meant to hide it and forgot? The link in the footer on slashdot.org is visible on the homepage (and easily noticed when I look on my phone, which I often do). However, it's hidden on the story/comment pages.

Barrapunto (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353797)

In Spanish there is Barrapunto [barrapunto.com] (English description [wikipedia.org] ).

Re:Barrapunto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42356121)

As someone how has spend at least ten times the amount of time studying Japanese compared to Spanish, it is sad that it is still easier to read Barrapunto than /.jp
Thank you for reminding me that Barrapunto exists, I had forgotten all about it.

European Sprachbund (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42359727)

As someone how has spend at least ten times the amount of time studying Japanese compared to Spanish

When you learned English, you may have been studying Spanish and not even known it. English absorbed a lot of words from French in the eleventh century CE, and French is closely related to Spanish. In addition, both English and Spanish are within the European Sprachbund, in which certain "Euroversal" features [wikipedia.org] are common.

Re:Barrapunto (1)

xOneca (1271886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42375073)

Yes, but it's community is much less active and seems to close on weekends...

I usually go there (have registered user), but I feel more informed here, on Slashdot.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (1)

sco08y (615665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42355061)

I am as stunned as you are. How many other localized /.s are there I wonder? Is there a slashdot in Russia? Germany? I think its neat.
Sadly I don't read any Japanese at all.

Nor do I, but Chrome obliged, and soon enough I verified that it is Slashdot and definitely Japanese. [slashdot.jp]

article headline: You can determine the "taste", "smell" computer years, 5 IBM?

subject: I M chairman of Japan

comment: It is not to be arrested for sample the smell of women's underwear in the train.
I know.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353639)

note: slashdot japan is MADE IN USA

(grin)

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353699)

note: slashdot japan is MADE IN USA

The "World War on drugs" no less the same.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

Nov8tr (2007392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353845)

You do realize there really is (as in not a joke) a USA, Japan. That is USA not U.S.A. No periods. LOL they used to stamp made in USA on boxes shipping to the US some time ago till the commerce here made em stop. Personally I found it funny.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (4, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354297)

Urban Legend [snopes.com]

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354599)

The USA tried the same trick by naming a place in California "Ontario" in order to confuse Canadians.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (1)

michael021689 (791941) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353763)

Yea, I started visiting a few days ago. Interesting to see the culture and topic differences between there and here. I need to up my tech related vocab though.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42353847)

Itte yoshi!

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353887)

Mod palent up.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (1)

Kagato (116051) | about a year and a half ago | (#42356355)

I'd forgotten about the Slashdot japan site....

And judging by the lack of comments posted to the articles I'd have to say so did most of the Japanese userbase.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42356725)

They have better Christmas decorations that us, too! Look at that header bar.

Re:holy f*** there is a slashdot japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42357713)

They have better Christmas decorations that us, too! Look at that header bar.

...and UTF-8 support, which means they have acquired late 90's technology (unlike the main site).

he's done (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42353541)

the japanese criminal system has something like 100% guilty rate. sorry dude

Re:he's done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42355821)

...for westerners who don't speak japanese and who can't afford a translator.

The Japanese courts do not provide them and do not take kindly to not being addressed in appropriate terms.

Also this law is pretty dumb.

Re:he's done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42356877)

Which is seriously one of the most ridiculous things ever. Why even make a foreigner apper in court if they're just going to say "aww too bad, no japanesey? guilty"

So why not arrest all the moderators? (4, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353569)

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:So why not arrest all the moderators? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42353667)

Because computers are hard.

Let's go bake cookies for the boys

Re:So why not arrest all the moderators? (3, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354849)

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?

Re:So why not arrest all the moderators? (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42355909)

http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment/view/freakonomics-documentary-looks-at-sumo-match-fixing-scandal [japantoday.com]
http://blackotaku.wordpress.com/2007/11/10/the-japanese-allow-criminals-to-get-away-with-murder/ [wordpress.com]

If something, buy investigating will cause national shame, it will not be investigated. The converse is said to be true also, bring up something you are not suppose to and you trouble may find you.

Police trying to expand laws (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42355657)

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 law. If they succeed it (further) decrease freedom of speech.

If the posts were for drug deals and public, then the police could have made a drug deal, and arrested the dealers. So it seems unlikely that they were in fact real drug deal posts.

Re:So why not arrest all the moderators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42356293)

2chan has moderators?

Re:So why not arrest all the moderators? (2)

vix86 (592763) | about a year and a half ago | (#42356723)

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.

Re:So why not arrest all the moderators? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42357759)

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.

so... (2)

terec (2797475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353777)

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

Re:so... (1)

inu_maru (843192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354443)

He is not one of the old boy clan, or a polititian, or a media mogul. That's why.

No Bill of Rights in Nippon? (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42353935)

Having come to think of our Japanese brothers as a modern, civilized, and economic 1st World power, I find this quite disturbing. I have an idea where the Chinese are on human rights, and I remember the caning in Singapore of the young American vandal, but I suppose I had an idea the Japanese were somehow closer to the American or European personal freedoms ideal.

Re:No Bill of Rights in Nippon? (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354433)

Is that the European ideal where the UK arrests people for offensive facebook posts (indeed now has guidelines on it) and actually has no freedom of speech at all? Or Germany where they are so embarassed by the past they they would jail their own people lest they express opinions that could cause uneducated people to say bad things about Germans?

Perhaps France and their recent forays into legislating what people can wear on their heads?

Never mind our allies though (particularly some of the "other" ones like South Korea where we fought for their freedom to be jailed for insulting the government, or saudi arabia where all it takes is international pressure to show them the error of their belief that a woman who reports being gang raped should be stoned to death for admiting she had sex.... such an easy mistake to make that.)... perhaps you were thinking of the US?

You know, where we are free to have a trial as long as the president doesn't decide he doesn't want us to have one. Or where we keep plans to massively extend law enforcement authority in drawers waiting for the next disaster to push them through? Or where we ignore our own laws to ship captives out to be tortured?

Were those the sensibilities that you were looking for?

Re:No Bill of Rights in Nippon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42355521)

Nazi Germany wasn't an opinion, is was a nation that committed war crimes, and was defeated. Not accepting defeat means the war isn't ended.

Re:No Bill of Rights in Nippon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42357447)

France also has a law making advocating drug use illegal. Of course this can be, and has been interpreted to mean advocating legalization. I'm on a tablet now but you can check the source on 's free speech by country page. European ideal indeed.

Re:No Bill of Rights in Nippon? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354563)

Having come to think of our Japanese brothers as a modern, civilized, and economic 1st World power, I find this quite disturbing.

There is no bill of rights in Japan.

Moreover, the Japanese constitution explicitly limits [japantimes.co.jp] the rights of non-citizens, so watch out. When everything is hunky-dory Japanese are indeed more western than their immediate neighbors, but when things go south (someone loses a job, or a limb, or a spouse, or their retirement fund) things turn very Asian very fast.

Re:No Bill of Rights in Nippon? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42355811)

This must frustrate you greatly as you sob yourself to sleep watching anime. You'll never get to live freely amongst your super baka kawaii nipponjin heros.

4chan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42353937)

For comparison, here's how 4chan is being handled [imgur.com] (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 government agents.

Re:4chan (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354493)

Do you use 4chan? Shit gets moderated there all the time.

Re:4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354557)

Cool story bro.

Re:4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354687)

"The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood.
Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact."

Stuff on /b/ is moderated for different reasons all the time, it's just not so prevalent as on other boards because there are very little rules restricting what may be posted.
Also, at the rate threads are created and posted to, I find it hard to believe that everything (including large amount of image data) is archived indefinitely.
And there are several pictures of moot posing next to the 4chan servers made after this post (and perhaps for the very reason of debunking this myth).

Re:4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354935)

... you haven't been on 4chan much, have you?

There is moderation out the ass on there.

Re:4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42355877)

FYI it's common knowledge that 4chan mods have been forwarding the IPs of kiddie porn posters to the FBI since at least 2006.

Also the info on their servers could be correct, but probably isn't since they reportedly went cloud mid 2010.

Re:4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42356949)

I can't believe this got modded up. This is a typical conspiracy theory that gets posted from time to time there. It has no actual basis in reality except that mods will actually send information to the feds regarding things like child pornography, etc.

Re:4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42357041)

To add to that, there are many "civvy" moderators on the /b/ boards. The reason they don't accept new positions for that board in particular is because of the popularity of that board.

That picture just gets posted when some new trend comes around (bronies, etc) and people get mad when threads they don't like aren't deleted fast enough.

WoW! Slashdot Japan! (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354007)

I opened an account...Five digit UIDs are still available...

2chan has this problem too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354191)

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.

Re:2chan has this problem too (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about a year and a half ago | (#42356143)

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.

Re:2chan has this problem too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42359937)

It also has the nasty effect of making the system "guilty until proven innocent". Except their society heavily stigmatizes anyone charged with a crime, and there is heavy social pressure to confess regardless if you committed a crime or not. So really it's just "guilty"

The Fine Print: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354407)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

Re:The Fine Print: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42354509)

Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.

Poor journalism (0)

AncientPC (951874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42356225)

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.

Re:Poor journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42356967)

2ch is now turning into something different where you can buy/sell illegal stuff and adult/kids porn. It's really really bad.

So it's turning into 4chan, then?

I forwards your comment to my BS detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42356969)

"The police has identified at least 50 drug dealers using the website to sell illegal drugs now."

So why are they deleting the posts and tipping them off and not arresting them.

" but he claimed that the ownership of the site has been sold to someone (which turned out to be a lie)"

I don't believe you because you say 'which turned out to be a lie" without putting the reason why it was a lie.

"ncle owned a clinic and someone kept posting horrible stuff about the clinic"

There's your motive for lying.

"2ch used to be one of the most popular forums, but the quality of posts have been questionable in the past couple of years"
As if the owner of 2ch has a quality standard to meet. Especially *your* quality standard.

He has no obligation to censor people on the request of the police. Just as you are free to make those claims here without censorship

Re:I forwards your comment to my BS detector (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42357979)

He has no obligation to censor people on the request of the police. Just as you are free to make those claims here without censorship

Is that true in Japan? They don't have free speech. Remember how the Japanese government announced that it would be shutting down blogs giving information about Fukushima "in the public interest"? Japan is fascist, this is not news.

The Internet cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42357029)

The Internet cancer [kimmoa.se] . This information needs to be more widely known.

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