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  • 2-Channel’s Nishimura again ducks responsibility for BBS’s excesses

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on August 28th, 2008

     Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japan

    Hello Blog.  Yet another interview with BBS 2-Channel’s Nishimura, where he claims that what goes on at 2-Channel is not his responsibility.

    Love the section below where he says, “Unless there is a court order, we will not delete any messages.”  That’s a lie.  He’s had a court order since January 2006 to delete the posts on me judged by a court to be libelous.  More than two and a half years later, they’re still there…!  And with copy-pastes the number just keeps rising.

    I don’t think this guy realizes that sooner or later, there’s going to be legislation passed that will ultimately deprive the Internet of the privacy he allows his BBS to so wantonly abuse.  More on 2ch on my blog here.  Debito in San Francisco

    2channel founder says don't blame him for criminals' posts    

    Hiroyuki Nishimura
    FILE PHOTO

    2channel founder says don’t blame him for criminals’ posts

    Courtesy Japan Today, undated, but downloaded August 27, 2008

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/shukan-post/view/2channel-founder-says-dont-blame-him-for-criminals-posts

    Over the past few years 2 Channel (2ch) has become the largest online forum in Japan, registering up to 200 million hits a day. Launched by college student Hiroyuki Nishimura in 1999, the site is often at the center of controversy and was criticized in June after it was used by the suspect in the Akihabara stabbing rampage to announce his plans.

    Freelance journalist Tetsuya Shibui interviews Nishimura for Shukan Post.

    The suspect in the Akihabara rampage has told police he killed people because his messages were ignored on 2ch. 

    That case has nothing to do with us. I don’t believe he killed people just because he was ignored online. He says he doesn’t have friends. But it’s not surprising people like him don’t have friends. But that alone cannot be a reason for murder. It’s too simple to think the Internet causes such crimes.

    Many crime announcements have been made on 2ch since the Akihabara case. Do you have any plans to change the site?

    Not at all. 2Ch has clear rules of use that allow people to request deletion of messages and a system to report inappropriate messages.

    Don’t you think it’s irresponsible for you to make your users take all the responsibility?

    I don’t think so. I always cooperate with police when I think some messages clearly indicate a crime may be involved and when police request disclosure of posters’ information such as IP addresses, we oblige.

    2ch also carries information on how to commit crimes, does it not?

    No, no, no. Many people misunderstand 2ch. It has links to other websites which might contain information like how to make a bomb, but that’s a matter for other websites to address, not 2ch.

    However, 2ch recently carried detailed information on the spate of hydrogen sulfide gas suicides. 

    Yes, 2ch did carry that kind of information. But that’s copy and paste information copied from other websites. It’s the mainstream media which is spreading information that 2ch has that kind of information. Those who were not interested in such information have suddenly become interested in 2ch through newspaper coverage. Why don’t those media criticize themselves?

    Are you saying you have no responsibility because other websites have the same information.

    Well, let me ask you a question. Is there any evidence that the Internet has led to an increase in crimes? I’ve never seen any such evidence. The Internet is just a tool and all tools have side effects. Look at cars. Do you blame car makers when accidents are caused by speeding? I have my own logic to justify what I’m doing. People can submit information freely on the Internet. Anti-Internet people are just afraid of the unknown potential of the Internet which has a short history.

    Perhaps, one reason for the fear is not the “unknown,” as you cal it, but the anonymity of the information. Why don’t make your users post messages using their real names?

    I disagree. Even Social Network Services which have greater transparency have trouble and contain inappropriate information. It totally depends on users when dealing with inappropriate information. Those who cannot make judgments by themselves or don’t like 2ch should not use it.

    What do you think about the information filter for minors

    I support information filtering measures for kids because they are not capable of making proper judgments on information they get from the Internet. If I had a kid, I would give him/her a mobile phone without an Internet connection function. I think the issue has to be debated nationwide.

    You’ve been ignoring lawsuits against you for defamation for years, and you don’t pay compensation that courts have ordered you to make.

    Yes, that’s correct. I’ve received more than 100 lawsuits so far. It’s time consuming, but recently, I’ve been working on about 30 legal cases. I’m seeing how it goes. The reason why I don’t pay compensation is that I think I am not responsible for what others post. If I were posting death threats or whatever, then I must pay. But I’m just a manager of 2ch. I don’t feel guilty at all.

    Why don’t you make a system to check inappropriate messages?

    It’s difficult even for legal professionals to distinguish between legal and illegal content. If we were to delete messages, 2ch would cease to be a forum where people can freely post. Unless there is a court order, we will not delete any messages.

    Have you ever thought of closing 2ch?

    Never. That’s because we currently monopolize this sort of business in Japan.

    Your income is reported to be around 100 million yen acquired from online ads and book sales.

    Yes, that’s about right.

    What do your parents think of your business and all the flak?

    My father is an ex-tax officer. But we have never talked about our businesses to each other. When I go home sometimes, he just says to me: “Go ahead with what you’re doing.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

    4 Responses to “2-Channel’s Nishimura again ducks responsibility for BBS’s excesses”

    1. Doug M. Says:

      In America the ISPs also do not take responsibility for fear that if they were liable the internet would become restricted.

      But isn’t this like the Tokyo mass stabbings later this year, after he was done the government wanted to ban knives. Hey while we are at it lets just ban trucks cause he used one, and ban mobile phones, gasoline, highways cause he was driving on one, certain types of shoes, clothes, and oxygen.

      Lets just ban everything cause that way we can protect the public! Thanks big brother! back to my daily exercises; 1984.

    2. John Says:

      If you own something you are responsible for it and in this case the information contained herein.

      There is a difference between free speech and libel. You cannot peruse everything beforehand but you can take reasonable action afterwards when notified.

      He likes the money but not the responsibility.

    3. Vinto Pinto Says:

      The 2ch servers are in the US and Nishimura keeps many of his assets in the USA, so that’s why the libel lawsuits rarely make a dent.

    4. Justin Says:

      I travel the site 4chan and what goes on in 4chan is not too dissimilar to 2chan. 4chan has some heavy racist themes on blacks and other non-white Americans the owner of the site who is Mexican-American (users constantly point this out) has tried to control. users on 4chan have done highly controversial things (bomb threats, ironically harassing white supremacist radio. recent Scientology protests (ironically the owner of 4chan made a statement he is not neutral but against on the subject of protests for Scientology.) But because of 4chans controversial past users 90% report and violent behavior like school killing spree threats to police. With fear that the united states government will shot the website down.

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