2ch is the arguably the world’s largest internet discussion website. The website is the largest internet forum in Japan, which consists of a collection of more than 300 “boards” in which the visitor can read or post on, ranging from “’hacking’ to ‘tonight’s appetizers’” [1]. In this project, I hope to examine how the “delete policy” for this particular website functions, and what roles the law has played in the realm of internet forums in Japan.

Personally, this project is significant for me because after a semester of discussion regarding the situation of computers and law in the U.S., I feel urged to learn how similar situations are perceived in my home country, Japan. One of the issues that most interested me during the course of the semester was the discussion regarding deletion policy of internet forums. The discussion regarding two Yale law school students who were harassed on the internet, and later went to court, was surprising to me for two reasons. First, I was surprised by how much influence speech in the virtual world could affect the real life of an individual. I was foreign to the culture of “trolls,” people who make posts on internet forums intending to make other users feel harassed. Secondly, the extent to which section 230 of the Communication Decency Act could be applied contradicted my idea of right and wrong, because the speech on the forum was apparently harassing. Even though the speech was apparently harassing the Yale students, the owners of the internet forum “AutoAdmit” refused to delete the message, and they were never held guilty.

Apart from my personal motives, I believe my project will be thought provoking to many people, because it gives a chance for American internet users to compare the law system to the system of other countries. In regard to internet forums, there is no other country that is as significant as comparing to Japan, because in this particular country, the internet forum “2ch” or “2 channel” is widely spread, and has even influenced popular culture.

[1] 2ch website catch phrase.

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