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What's the Difference Between '2channel' and '5channel' in Japan? An Explanation of the Current Situation


What's the Difference Between '2channel' and '5channel' in Japan? An Explanation of the Current Situation

When the name “2channel” is mentioned, most people think of the largest anonymous bulletin board site in Japan. Even if you’re not a regular internet user, you’ve probably heard of “2channel”.

However, the site once known as “2channel” no longer exists. Due to a conflict between operators, the site split, and the original “2channel”, which used to be accessed at “”, has now divided into two parts.

“2channel” with the URL “”
“5channel” with the URL “”
This article will provide a detailed explanation of everything from the history and current situation of what was once called “2channel”, to the method of deleting posts that could be considered defamation, all in light of these changes in management and site division.

What is the Difference Between 2channel ( and 5channel (

Though the two sites may seem confusing, distinguishing between them is actually quite straightforward.

2 Channel([ja]
First, “2channel” has the URL “”, and a pot image is placed on its homepage.

5 Channel([ja]
On the other hand, “5channel” uses the URL “”, and the contents of the bulletin board are displayed on its homepage.

Additionally, 2channel and 5channel have different thread display methods.

2channel (, despite maintaining a similar appearance to the former 2channel (, has also evolved, such as changing the background color when the cursor hovers over the name field.

5channel’s menu sections like “All” and “1-100” are different from those on 2channel.

It’s worth noting that the so-called “copy sites” and “summary sites” of 2channel and 5channel are different from these two.

Origins of 2channel and 5channel

Why did the original “2channel (” split into two sites? Here, I will explain the circumstances.

The Emergence of 2channel (

The original “2channel (” was launched as a personal website by Hiroyuki Nishimura, AKA Hiroyuki from Japan in 1999.

At that time, the most influential bulletin board on the internet was a site called “Amezo”. The name “2channel” was given with the meaning of “a subsidiary of Amezo” (Internet Association “Internet White Paper 2001” Impress 2001).

“2channel (” didn’t become Japan’s largest anonymous bulletin board until about 5 to 10 years later. By 2009, the number of users exceeded 11 million.

From the late 2000s to the early 2010s, “2channel (” was arguably the most influential on the internet, without any splits or divisions.

Split into Two Websites

In February 2014, the effective management rights of 2channel were transferred to Jim Watkins, who became the actual manager of 2channel.

The truth is unclear, but according to Jim Watkins’ claim, the conflict originated from unpaid server fees by Hiroyuki Nishimura.

Nishimura responded to this as an “illegal takeover”, and launched “2channel (”.

  • The previous “2channel” was “2channel (”
  • The “2channel” launched by Hiroyuki Nishimura is “2channel (”

This resulted in the existence of two “2channels”.

Trademark Rights and Domain Control Rights Were Separated

Subsequently, Hiroyuki Nishimura obtained the trademark rights for “2ch” and “2channel” in Japan, but the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) dismissed Nishimura’s claim of illegal occupation of the “” domain. As a result, a complex situation emerged within Japan.

  • The trademark rights for “2ch” and “2channel” are managed by Hiroyuki Nishimura.
  • The domain registration rights for “” are managed by “Race Queen Inc”, the management company of “”.

Website Name Change to 5channel (

In October 2017, Jim Watkins transferred “2channel (” to “Loki Technology Inc”. In order to avoid unnecessary disputes over rights, “Loki Technology Inc” changed the name to “5channel” and changed the domain name to “”.

  • The 2channel ( on Nishimura’s side is operated by “PACKET MONSTER INC, PTE.LTD” (a Singapore corporation).
  • The 5channel ( on Watkins’ side is operated by “Loki Technology Inc” (a Philippine corporation).

And this brings us to the current state of affairs.

Removal of Defamatory Posts on 2channel and 5channel

Even though 2channel ( and 5channel ( originally began as one site, they are now entirely separate entities. Thus, if defamatory posts occur, each site has its unique rules, and deletions must be carried out separately for each.

However, there’s a critical exception to the point of being “entirely separate sites”. If a post is made on 5channel (, that post will be automatically copied onto 2channel (

  • If a defamatory post is made on 2channel (, you must remove it according to the rules of 2channel (
  • If a defamatory post is made on 5channel (, you need to first remove it from 5channel (, and subsequently, remove it from 2channel (, where it’s copied.

Conclusion: Consult a Lawyer for Defamation Troubles on 2channel and 5channel

While there are several ways to apply for the removal of defamatory posts, the methods most likely to be accepted involve either seeking a provisional disposition from a court or requesting removal through a lawyer.

Regardless of the method you choose, advanced legal skills are necessary to have the post removed. To expedite the removal, it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals if you fall victim to such posts.

Both “2channel” and “5channel” are discussion boards with significant influence, and posts on these boards can spread rapidly, necessitating prompt action.

To minimize the damage, promptly consult with a lawyer if you encounter trouble on “2channel” or “5channel”.

Managing Attorney: Toki Kawase

The Editor in Chief: Managing Attorney: Toki Kawase

An expert in IT-related legal affairs in Japan who established MONOLITH LAW OFFICE and serves as its managing attorney. Formerly an IT engineer, he has been involved in the management of IT companies. Served as legal counsel to more than 100 companies, ranging from top-tier organizations to seed-stage Startups.

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