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How to Identify Posters on 'Japanese Girls Channel' and the Average Cost of Legal Fees


How to Identify Posters on 'Japanese Girls Channel' and the Average Cost of Legal Fees

Girls Channel (ガールズちゃんねる) is a popular anonymous bulletin board where women can freely post. It is rich in posts about topics that women prefer, such as gossip, entertainment, housework and childcare, and love. However, because it is an anonymous bulletin board, it cannot be denied that there is a possibility of being written about slander, untrue rumors, and false information. Therefore, we will explain what measures should be taken if you have been posted with slander on Girls Channel. In particular, we will explain about identifying the poster, which is considered as one of the measures to be taken as a reputational damage countermeasure.

What is “Girls Channel”?

What kind of site is Girls Channel?

Girls Channel is operated by J Square Inc. Its catchphrase is “A chat community for women, by women, and of women,” and it boasts one of the highest access rates among domestic women’s media. Girls Channel often sees posts of short sentences or single-word comments. Furthermore, since no membership registration is required, anyone can post immediately, which lowers the psychological barrier to posting defamatory comments. Like other anonymous bulletin boards such as 2channel, it tends to be prone to defamatory postings.

Another unique feature of Girls Channel is the system that allows viewers to press either a plus or minus button for each comment. If you agree with a comment, you press the plus button, and if you disagree, you press the minus button. The more plus buttons a comment gets, the more prominently it is displayed. As a result, there are often cases where people make extreme comments to earn plus buttons. In topics where many viewers agree with defamatory comments, such as celebrity gossip and bad rumors, the more extreme the comment, the more it is valued, which can lead to an increase in defamatory comments.

Examples of defamation on Girls Channel

While Girls Channel is primarily written by women, it often sees defamatory comments about topics related to celebrities, such as gossip news. The content of the defamation often includes revealing personal and private information about celebrities and their associates, such as their real names and addresses, or insulting their appearance. Recently, when a member of a male idol group was set to get married, a flood of defamatory comments were posted about the woman he was marrying. At the request of the woman’s attorney, the operator took measures to delete all posts about this woman, which became a hot topic.

Even ordinary people can become victims of defamation on Girls Channel, with their personal information posted on the site, or further comments written about people who have “gone viral”. The high level of anonymity on the site, unlike membership sites, could be said to contribute to the prevalence of such extreme word-of-mouth. If defamatory comments that infringe on privacy rights or reputation are posted on Girls Channel, it could have a negative impact not only on the online community but also on life in general society. Therefore, the impact of reputational damage can be significant, and if anything feels off, it is advisable to consider requesting deletion or disclosure of the poster.

As mentioned later, in order to identify the poster, it is necessary for the post to be illegal, and posts that are not illegal cannot be identified. In order to be judged as illegal, it is important whether there is a clear infringement of rights, and a high level of malicious content is required. Therefore, whether the problematic post is illegal or not is an important point in considering the identification of the poster. For example, there is a trend in court precedents that clear infringement of rights is easily recognized for posts that point out criminal facts. For more details, please refer to the links below.[ja][ja]

Procedure 1 for Identifying Posters: Request for IP Address Disclosure

What is an IP Address?

The first step in identifying a poster is to request the disclosure of their IP address. An IP address is a unique identifier for the device from which data was sent. Knowing the IP address reveals which device the data was sent from.

Girls Channel allows anonymous posts without requiring membership registration. This means that the operators of Girls Channel do not know the address or email address of the person who posted a certain review or comment. Therefore, even if they are asked to disclose the poster’s address or name, they cannot do so because they do not have that information. Instead, they do have a record of the IP address of the poster, so they can be asked to disclose that log.

Request for IP Address Disclosure through Provisional Disposition Procedure

In order to disclose the IP address, it is generally necessary to go through a court procedure. Girls Channel may accept deletion requests in cases of clear illegality or violation of terms, but in principle, IP address disclosure cannot be achieved without using a court procedure. For more details on deletion, please refer to the article below.[ja]

This court procedure is specifically a provisional disposition, which is a quick procedure. Compared to a full trial, it can be completed in about 1-2 months. The average attorney’s fee for this procedure is said to be:

Retainer fee of about 300,000 yen, success fee of about 300,000 yen

What are the attorney’s fees and compensation flow for reputational damage?[ja]

This amount is for both the disclosure and deletion of the IP address. However, the cost may vary depending on the case and the amount and content of the comments you want to delete.

Need to Assert and Prove that the Post is Illegal

If you assert and prove that the post violates the Provider Liability Limitation Act (Japanese Provider Liability Limitation Act), the court will approve this IP address disclosure request. Specifically, Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the Provider Liability Limitation Act states:

“When it is clear that the rights of the person requesting the disclosure have been violated by the distribution of infringing information”

In other words, it must be illegal.

By the way, if you can get the post deleted, you may be able to request voluntary deletion by making a deletion request instead of going through a court procedure, even if you don’t need to claim damages. In that case, it is necessary to fall under either of the following:

  • Violation of terms of use
  • Illegal

If the comment you want to delete violates the prohibitions of Girls Channel, you can request deletion even if it is not illegal. For example, it can be argued that insults about appearance (e.g., calling someone ugly or bald) are insulting and violate the prohibition of “unfairly discriminating or defaming others” (Article 9, Paragraph 1, Item c. of the Terms of Use). However, this is just a standard for the operators of Girls Channel to voluntarily delete posts, and it does not necessarily mean that it is illegal. In other words, there are cases where you can succeed in deletion even if it is not illegal when requesting the site.

On the other hand, to get the court to approve the request for IP address disclosure, you need:

  • A legal argument that the post is illegal (clear existence of rights infringement, no reasons for illegality)
  • Evidence to support these

However, what kind of evidence should be presented and what kind of argument should be made varies depending on the individual case. It is important to consult with a lawyer and choose the appropriate argument and evidence.

Procedure 2 for Identifying the Poster: Prohibition of Log Deletion

Once you have obtained the IP address through a request, the next step is to disclose the poster’s name and address to the provider. However, before doing so, you must first make a “request to prohibit log deletion”. A provider refers to a connection provider, such as J:COM, Softbank, and other mobile companies and line providers. Since the provider knows the subscriber’s information, they identify the poster by matching the log with the subscriber’s information using the IP address as a clue.

The problem that arises here is that providers delete IP addresses after a certain period of time. Therefore, you must request the provider not to delete the log. This is done through legal proceedings, and most providers are cooperative and may comply if notified. However, legal claims must be included in the notification to the provider, and if they do not comply, it may lead to a lawsuit, so it is advisable to consult a lawyer.

Procedure 3 for Identifying the Poster: Request for Disclosure of Name and Address

If the provider preserves the log, we will request the provider to disclose the poster’s name and address. This part involves formal legal proceedings because the name and address are crucial information for identifying an individual. For example, even if someone posts on Girls Channel that a certain celebrity is connected to antisocial group A, if there is sufficient evidence for the post, or if it is posted as a political claim, there may be circumstances where freedom of expression is respected and not recognized. The court carefully compares the interests infringed by freedom of expression and privacy infringement/defamation, etc., and if it is judged to be illegal as a result of careful judgment from a fair standpoint, it will issue a disclosure order.

The average attorney’s fees for this part are generally assumed to be around 300,000 yen for the initial fee and around 200,000 yen for the success fee.

Step 4 for Identifying the Poster: Claim for Damages

If the court approves the disclosure of the poster’s name and address in the aforementioned trial, you can directly file a claim for damages against the poster. If you win in this procedure, you can also recover costs such as attorney’s fees and consolation money.

So far, many steps have been necessary. Whether all of these will be approved or not depends largely on the initial procedure, such as the disclosure of the IP address. Please refer to our firm’s article at the link below for an explanation.[ja]


The process of identifying a poster on Girls Channel is a highly specialized and complex procedure. However, if this process successfully identifies the poster, it becomes possible to claim damages against them. The only way to make specific claims or take measures against someone who has defamed you is through legal proceedings, so it’s worth trying. Being defamed by an anonymous person can be painful and can actually disadvantage you in your social life, so it’s best to take legal action and deal with it calmly. If you have any problems, please feel free to consult with a lawyer who is strong in defamation countermeasures.

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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