Japanese cops have announced they have filed charges of promoting drug dealing against Hiroyuki, the infamous founder of Japan’s megaboard 2ch.net.
Police have announced they have filed charges of promoting the sale of narcotics against 36-year-old 2ch founder and former administrator Hiroyuki Nishimura.
The charges relate to a series of 2ch posts made in 2011 which police allege led to the sale of illegal drugs. Police say the board failed to delete the posts as they requested, and is therefore guilty of promoting their sale.
Whether merely failing to delete a handful of drug-related posts from the millions on 2ch at any time constitutes abetting the sale of illegal drugs looks likely to be the subject of a protracted trial or swiftly dropped charges, as it seems police would already have arrested him if they considered their chances of securing a conviction through evidence or “confession” good.
Hiroyuki himself has long since given up being directly involved in the board’s administration (he instead directs an opaque array of Internet companies), but is widely reputed to continue pulling its strings – and is most probably the end recipient of bulk of the considerable revenues the site generates.
The administrators of 2ch are notorious for ignoring takedown requests and legal threats, although they do comply with at least some requests and police seem to have effected any number of arrests based on posts made to the board.
Despite this reluctance to comply with legal requests, Hiroyuki has however in recent years taken to using claims of copyright infringement to close down 2ch-based sites he disapproves of, and appears to enjoy plenty of legal counsel.
On 2ch itself there is no small suspicion that the police are hounding Hiroyuki for his refusal to put moderation of the board in the hands of Japan’s notoriously incorruptible and tech-savvy cops:
“Serves him right!”
“They finally got him…”
“What? All this because he left the drugs board alone?”
“Poor Hiroyuki. And despite our cops being totally useless…”
“Since when does failing to delete a few online scribbles constitute abetting?”
“Funny that they didn’t arrest any of the celebrities being paid to promote fraudulent auctions on their blogs of late.”
“If they can arrest him for this, they can do mobile phone carriers and ISPs as well… it’s messed up.”
“This is extreme. I bet they end up dropping the charges.”
“They don’t lift a finger to stop most online crimes, and now this?”
“You might as well arrest the police for failing to impede the drug smugglers.”
“Really suspect – you’d think the entire admin staff would be arrested, but they just go after him?”
“The cops basically just want to take out 2ch.”
“Same as with Horiemon. They want to make an example of those who defy the authorities.”
“Our cops just love trying to make examples of people who don’t obey them in all respects, don’t they? The same reasoning would have them arresting the leaders of half the infrastructure companies in the country, but they don’t for some reason.”
“Next up, Japanese police arrest the creators of Twitter.”
“It’s about time they held this guy to account, he obviously runs 2ch.”