On December 10, a lawsuit for damages was filed in the Tokyo District Court against the anonymous Twitter account “Dappi,” which has been relentlessly attacking opposition party members with “untruthful content” by cutting out their words and actions.
Through the lawsuit, we want to clarify the legal responsibility of the Twitter account Dappi for spreading fake news about the activities of opposition party members and distorting democracy in Japan.
Hiroyuki Konishi, a member of the House of Councilors of the Constitutional Democratic Party, who filed the lawsuit, said.
The account’s posts, for example, are immediate responses to questions posed at a committee meeting during a closed session of the Diet. This is not a task that can be done by ‘ordinary people. Some people know the day before or the day of the meeting that I am going to take questions. It’s not something that a normal person can just pick up and tweet about immediately. It seems to be done by someone with a high level of expertise, for example, someone who is involved in national politics.
Dappi has 178,000 followers. His profile says, “I love Japan. I love Japan and hate the media for their biased reporting.
The posts were made mainly on weekday afternoons, during so-called office hours.
Although the account is anonymous, the originator of the account, an IT company in Tokyo, was identified through a “request for disclosure of sender’s information” prior to the current trial. The lawsuit is seeking 8.8 million yen in damages from the IT company, “One’s Quest,” and two of its executives.
At the first oral argument on April 10, the lawyer for the Dappi account “contributor” claimed that the information was sent by the contributor, not the subscriber (One’s Quest), and that the subscriber and contributor are different. He also states that the postings “do not diminish the social reputation of the company” and “do not violate the rights of the plaintiff.
Another plaintiff, Hideya Sugio, a former news reporter and member of the House of Councillors, said
Another plaintiff, Hideya Sugio, a former news reporter and member of the House of Councillors, said, “It looks like the spread of fakes using a private company as a front.
We want to restore our reputation through the lawsuit and find out what was behind the posts. I also hope that this lawsuit will serve as a wake-up call against fake news.
I hope this lawsuit will serve as a wake-up call against fake news.
A number of trials are currently underway regarding malicious transmissions and slander on social networking sites.
On November 30, a civil trial was held in which journalist Shiori Ito sued manga artist Toshiko Hasumi and three others for defamation, ordering Hasumi to pay 880,000 yen and the doctor and manga artist who “retweeted” Hasumi’s tweet to pay 110,000 yen each. The court ordered Hasumi to pay 880,000 yen, and the doctor and cartoonist who “retweeted” Hasumi’s tweets to pay 110,000 yen each. The court ruled that even an anonymous individual can be identified and charged with a crime for retweeting.
But what’s more, this case is about
Another major problem with this case is that “this is being done in a systematic manner by professional people” (Konishi).
This is another big problem. What was the “background” and who was behind it? More than 50 media attended the press conference, and much attention is being paid to the progress of the trial.
The Dappi account has not been “sending out messages” since October 1, when it retweeted a “tweet” from former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.