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Press Release


Yahoo! JAPAN Establishes Panel on the Operation of Platform Services to Formulate Voluntary Rules

Yesterday, Yahoo Japan Corporation (hereinafter “Yahoo! JAPAN”) established the Panel on the Operation of Platform Services (hereinafter the “Panel”), which aims to formulate voluntary rules required as a platform operator to offer services that users can use with a sense of security. The first Panel will be held in July 2020. Thereafter, Yahoo! JAPAN plans to hold the Panel about once a month, and to summarize and publish necessary voluntary rules by the end of the year.

Considering the recent tragic incident reportedly caused by slanderous or defamatory posts on the Internet, the Japanese government is considering improvement measures for the deletion of inappropriate Internet posts and disclosure of sender information, including possible legal amendment. As issues, the Japanese government cites the difficulty for service providers in judging whether rights have been infringed and the time and economic costs associated with the procedures that the victims have to go through.

To address these problems, Yahoo! JAPAN endeavors to deter such posts in advance by informing and educating users and takes countermeasures against inappropriate posts through patrols by a specialized team and the use of natural language processing models (AI) based on deep learning. Meanwhile, Yahoo! JAPAN acknowledges that the society expects it to give full consideration to the impact of such countermeasures on users' freedom of expression, and to ensure transparency with regard to the removal standards as well as the results of actual actions taken.

With a goal of examining such countermeasures and their impact from broad perspectives and formulating voluntary rules for users to use the services with a greater sense of security, Yahoo! JAPAN has decided to establish the Panel to discuss the issue, inviting experts from a wide range of fields.

1. Title
Panel on the Operation of Platform Services

2. Agenda
- Directions of services
- Effectiveness and validity of AI-based measures
- Securement of removal standards and transparency of actual actions taken

3. Panel members (names listed without honorifics)
Tatsuhiko YAMAMOTO - Professor, Keio University Law School

Hajime OGAWA - Advisor, The Mainichi Newspapers Group Holdings Co. Ltd.
Toshiko SAWADA - Director, EC Network
Kazuhiro MAESHIMA - Professor and Dean, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University
Ryoji MORI - Attorney-at-Law, Eichi Law Offices
Noriyuki YANAGAWA - Professor, Faculty of Economics, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Shinichi YAMAGUCHI - Associate Professor, Center for Global Communications, International University of Japan

* The first Panel will be held online in July 2020 (closed to the public). The Panel is scheduled to be held about once a month thereafter.

Response to Posts that Contain Slanderous or Defamatory Content against Individuals (June 1, 2020)