In Japan, giant discussion site with 230 million page views per day,2channel has played an important role on the Web site seen for 15 years. This is an anonymous textboard, attracting the biggest traffic in the country.
Since Feb 19, 2014, however, conflict between the Hiroyuki Nishimura ( the founder of 2channel who had been manager ) and his bussiness partner Jim Watkins ( ex-U.S Army officer ) on its administration and ownership suddenly became clear. Consequently, Mr. Jim secured its domain name, administrative right and everything by the surprise attack strategy exploiting his SE status of 2channel. He successively expelled Nishimura from the site Jim had been maintained, completely.
Thorough this internal strife, existing of the paid service to delete postings of 2channel was uncovered in April 2, by a sudden announcement of Hiroyuki’s business partner, Mr Uchiyama who is Hottolink, Inc‘s president .
Mr. Uchiyama’s company, Hottolink has been tied up with 2channel by exclusive contract and offered the monitoring and deletion of negative voice against its customers. And it was detected that among the customers, Japan’s Government Party LDP was listed, by the anonymous 2channel user. Actually, this privileged access to delete the opinions had not been known by almost all the usual internet users and gave a sensation.
This service is, though its overall figure unknown, thought to be getting the access to the administrators.
Further, according to the Hottolink,the DATAs are supplied exclusively from 2 channel. For anyone can see the 2channel’s posting freely, one question occurs. ”What kind of datas did the ex-administration member sold?” They may have included personal datas Hiroyuki collected without announcement to users. ” This suspect is fortified by the 2013 scandal of 40000 customer data leakage in 2channel; administrators recorded the user name, address, phone number ,post logs, credit card number and credit card security code without the user’s consent.( For what sake had they collected massive personal datas except for selling them? )
Among the shady channel – Hottolink’s customers listed Japan’s Government Party LDP side by side with business giants. And as for official announcements below stated, LDP started using the service offered by the Hottolink in 2013 House of Councilors poll.
Then, the contraction and money goes from LDP to Hottolink and then Hiroyuki owned 2channel. Therefore, the sponsor of the 2channel is, in reality, Japan’s Government Party LDP.( Those disclosures were shocking because in its official announcement, 2channel is a discussion board of no commercial interest, administrations have been done by unpaid volunteer, and everybody was told the highest value of the board is nothing but an independent, FREE SPEECH. )
Then, further suspicion occurs; how did the scope of actual services go? One serious issue is, whether or not Hiroyuki gave a privileged deal to the Government Party LDP. Hottolink officially boosts they can control and ”extinguish the fire” of harsh criticism in the internet community.
If so, had not they abused the data from 2channnel adinistrators to stop the spreads of information or opinion Japanese government disliked ? Also, in some 2channel board, administrators (they have the special access to make a ”thread”, agenda in 2chnannnel ) intentionally dismissed to set up a topic, arbitrary deleted the comments or, thread a to which Japanese government Party LDP did not want to make an forum agenda. So, the LDP sponsored Hiroyuki may manipulated the opinions of self alleged independent discussion board.
This hypothesis is now not as absurd as it had sounded. As WSJ pointed out, it is widely recognized that Japan somehow got to be right winged. And this tendency had been more strong in the 2channel( where hate speech is prevalent ). Also, anti-nuclear activists or politicians ( like Naoto Kan, Mizuho Fukushima, Junichiro koizumi) were fiercely defamed. But now, queerly, the attacks against those figures suddenly ceased since LDP tied Hiroyuki lost his administration right of 2channel.
The screen shot above is the 1st page of google result when you search ” South Korea history ” in Japanese. Most of the results are nationalistic hate speeches to the South Korea. They consist of 2channel and its affiliate allied copy web site led by Hiroyuki and his business partners( including Dwango group where LDP politician Aso Taros’ son and nephew’s are joining in the board. Aso Taro is an ex-PM of Japan and now both vice president and Minister of Financial Affairs. Also Mr. Aso’s son and wife hold 19% stocks of Dwango group’s sales division company, Extone. ). And also, Google’s 1st suggest candidate when you put ”South Korea history” is ” South Korea history fabrication”.
Propaganda activity in the internet world is not the Japan’s specific syndrome, According to Mr. Edward Snowden leakage.
（Documents from thearticle Mr Glenn Greenwald released in this February.
In my observation, many governments are obsessed about penetration and controlling operation in the internet discourse, secretly. Now, 2channel is completely ”occupied” by ex U.S. Army officer Mr. Jim.
Both ２channnel and SNS、may not be idealistic forums of discource as netizens thought. However, we have to face and understand the fact, to make a proper rule and institution of the internet which shall contribute our collective goods.