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What is the Method to Delete Yahoo! Chiebukuro? Explaining the Impact of Reputational Damage


What is the Method to Delete Yahoo! Chiebukuro? Explaining the Impact of Reputational Damage

Yahoo! Chiebukuro is a Q&A site where users can ask questions about things they are curious about and answer questions about things they know. However, one of its personalityistics is that malicious reviews are noticeable, and because anyone can post and view, there is a high possibility that the damage will be significant if you suffer from reputational damage. In this article, we will explain about the reputational damage caused by Yahoo! Chiebukuro and the method of deletion.

What is Yahoo! Chiebukuro?

Yahoo! Chiebukuro is a Q&A site operated by Yahoo! Japan. The content of the questions posted varies widely, with daily exchanges of questions and answers on a wide range of topics, from everyday doubts to company reputations and political issues. As long as you have a Yahoo! Japan ID, you can ask and answer questions anonymously immediately.

Yahoo! Chiebukuro has a very strong domain power, and it is not uncommon for posts related to Yahoo! Chiebukuro to appear at the top when searching for company names or product names. Therefore, it is said that if malicious posts are made on Yahoo! Chiebukuro, direct damage is likely to occur.

What Kind of Reputational Damage Exists on Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Yahoo! Answers Japan)?

What Kind of Reputational Damage Exists on Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Yahoo! Answers Japan)?

Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Yahoo! Answers Japan) is a platform where anyone can post anonymously, and due to its high traffic, it often becomes a hotbed for defamatory posts. The operators of the site, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of daily posts, are unable to check all content in advance, resulting in the publication of potentially defamatory posts. Let’s first explain what kind of reputational damage can occur.

Answers from Uncertain Sources

Since anyone can answer questions on Yahoo! Chiebukuro, there are many responses from uncertain sources. Specifically, these include answers based on the respondent’s personal opinion or inaccurate information found online. However, even such answers from uncertain sources can be selected as the “Best Answer” by the questioner. This is often because the questioner is not so much seeking accurate information, but rather looking for empathy and advice.

Baseless Answers

There are also completely baseless answers on Yahoo! Chiebukuro. These can be posted out of mischief, boredom, or even with the intention of harassing the subject of the question. There are cases where negative responses are given to implant a bad impression in the questioner. For example, “The food here is terrible. It’s better not to go,” or “Product XX claims to have skin-beautifying effects, but it doesn’t work at all.”

When such responses are posted, there is a risk that the number of users or purchasers will decrease, potentially leading to a drop in sales for businesses and shops.

Self-Promotion Posts

There are also cases of self-promotion, where someone posts a question and then answers it from a different account. The main purpose is to boost the reputation of their own company or products, or to tarnish the reputation of competitors. In simple terms, it’s a “set-up”. Although it’s one of the actions that should not be done, it’s a difficult issue to detect since posts are made anonymously.

The Risk of Ignoring Defamation on Yahoo! Chiebukuro

Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Yahoo! Answers) has a very high number of viewers, so there is a high possibility of being affected by defamation due to negative posts. If you leave such defamatory posts unattended, various risks may arise.

Expansion of Defamation Due to Spreading to External Sites

Since anyone can view other people’s questions and answers on Yahoo! Chiebukuro, if negative questions or answers about a specific company or individual are posted, there is a possibility that they may be spread to external sites by those who viewed them. For example, if baseless rumors such as “I heard that Company X is a black company with low wages and doesn’t pay overtime, is that true?” “Yes, it’s true. You should definitely not join” are posted, people who see it may believe the bad rumors, post the content on other sites, and spread it, resulting in the expansion of defamation against Company X.

Likely to Appear at the Top of Search Results

Yahoo! Chiebukuro has many users and a huge number of site views, so when you do a keyword search, Chiebukuro’s answers often appear at the top of the search results page. Therefore, for example, just by keyword searching “Company X”, baseless negative posts may be exposed to many people, leading to a potential decline in image.

Criteria for Deleting Reviews on Yahoo! Chiebukuro

As mentioned above, Yahoo! Chiebukuro does not pre-check the content of posts. Therefore, if you want to delete a post, you need to request the deletion from our side. Since Yahoo! Chiebukuro does not have a dedicated inquiry form for deletion, you need to request deletion from the “Report Violation” button provided under each post. Select the review you want to delete and press the “Report Violation” button at the bottom right. Then, a screen will appear for you to enter the “Violation Item”, so select the applicable item.

However, just because you reported a violation does not mean that all the posts you reported will be deleted. In order for a deletion request to be accepted, you need to prove that the post violates the Yahoo! Chiebukuro Guidelines[ja]. Yahoo! Chiebukuro prohibits the following types of posts:

Prohibited Item 1: Posts that excessively criticize, defame, attack, or hurt others, or posts that make others uncomfortable

Prohibited Item 2: Posts with unpleasant content including obscenity, violence, and extreme depictions

Prohibited Item 3: Posts that incite, promote, or forewarn illegal or criminal activities

Prohibited Item 4: Use for commercial or advertising purposes

Prohibited Item 5: Posting information that can identify individuals

Prohibited Item 6: Infringement of third-party intellectual property rights such as copyrights

Prohibited Item 7: Actions that interfere with service operation

Prohibited Item 8: Posts that are not questions or answers, or posts that make no sense even if they are

Prohibited Item 9: Impersonation or self-promotion

Prohibited Item 10: Solicitation or call-to-action posts

Prohibited Item 11: Posts about obvious false information

Prohibited Item 12: Anything else that Yahoo! JAPAN deems inappropriate

Rules for Using Yahoo! Chiebukuro: About Prohibited Items[ja]

In principle, you cannot directly delete posts of questions and answers made between other users. However, for posts that are believed to violate the terms of use, you can report to the management by clicking the violation report icon at the bottom right of the relevant text.

Please note that even if you report, the criteria for deletion are ultimately left to the management of Yahoo! Chiebukuro, and there is no guarantee that it will definitely be deleted. Also, you may not receive individual contact. For example, even if you request deletion on the grounds that the post is against “social norms and public order and morals”, it is not guaranteed that the management will accept this claim and respond to the deletion.

How Lawyers Can Remove Posts from Yahoo! Chiebukuro (Yahoo! Answers Japan)

If you find it difficult to delete a post on Yahoo! Chiebukuro by yourself, we recommend seeking the help of a lawyer and taking legal action. There are several methods, such as filing a request for transmission prevention measures or initiating a provisional disposition procedure through the court, which may lead to the deletion of the post.

Deletion through Request for Transmission Prevention Measures

One method of requesting deletion outside of court is to file a request for transmission prevention measures based on the Japanese Provider Liability Limitation Act against the operating company. In the case of Yahoo! Chiebukuro, this would involve mailing a request for transmission prevention measures to Yahoo! JAPAN.

Related article: Explanation of the Provider Liability Limitation Act and Request for Transmission Prevention Measures[ja]

Deletion through Provisional Disposition Application

In cases where a trial is necessary, a regular lawsuit can take over a year. Posts related to reputation can spread to other sites if not deleted promptly, potentially exacerbating the damage caused by the negative publicity.

Therefore, a court procedure called a provisional disposition application is considered effective for resolving the situation in a short period. A provisional disposition is a procedure that can achieve a state similar to winning a lawsuit before the trial, and compared to a lawsuit, results (such as deletion orders) are obtained more quickly. If a provisional disposition is granted, the court will issue a deletion order for the post in question to Yahoo! JAPAN, increasing the likelihood of a resolution within 1 to 3 months.

However, to be granted a provisional disposition, you must make a legal argument to the court, just as when initiating a lawsuit. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the help of a lawyer for a provisional disposition application.

Related article: What is the “Deletion Provisional Disposition” Important in Defamation Measures?[ja]

Conclusion: Consult a Lawyer to Delete Questions on Yahoo! Chiebukuro

In this article, we explained how to delete malicious posts on Yahoo! Chiebukuro. Yahoo! Chiebukuro has a large number of users and allows anonymous posting, which leads to a high incidence of defamation. Negative posts can result in reputational damage and potentially have a significant negative impact. However, the reality is that the chances of having a post removed by directly requesting the site to do so are low.

In such cases, it may be possible to have the post removed through legal procedures. As it can be difficult to proceed with legal procedures on your own, we recommend consulting a lawyer in these situations.

Our Firm’s Approach

Monolith Law Office is a legal practice with extensive experience in both IT, particularly the internet, and law. In recent years, information related to reputational damage and defamation spread on the internet has been causing serious harm as a “digital tattoo”. Our firm provides solutions to counteract these “digital tattoos”. Please refer to the article below for more details.

Areas of expertise at Monolith Law Office: Digital Tattoo[ja]

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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