2channel (Japanese 2ちゃんねる, Ni - channeru ) or 2ch ( going back to the URL abbreviation) is the largest Internet forum in the world.


2channel is operated in the Japanese language and has nearly 10 million users. Alexa leads the web address in August 2007 to 15th place in Japan. For the 31st August 2007, the system reported by 2channel more than 2.7 million new discussion posts.

The largest advertising agency in the world Dentsu has its own department in order to follow the posts on 2channel to capture current trends quickly.

Basic Concepts

All participants in the discussion are in principle anonymous (see anonymity on the Internet ), by default, all contributions with a uniform placeholder name (usually名無し さん, Nanashi -san ( as "Woman Without a Name Mr. /") or a variant thereof ) published. No prior registration is required, but you can at any time have its own IP address from the forum software issue, assume a pseudonym or this secure (by so-called trip codes, arbitrary strings that are appended when entering the name and by cryptologic hash function a kind of authentication the name display issue ). The founder and operator of 2channel, Hiroyuki Nishimura, keeps anonymity necessary, because otherwise it can not be expected that important information could be published without a filter through the media. In addition, the anonymity principle should promote discussion culture by assigning certain arguments to certain people more difficult and a consequent sliding of discussions in the form of an impertinent would argumentum ad hominem avoided in principle.

The server on 2channel are in America. Thus, there is no Japanese provider, access Japanese government agencies or courts to the system is made more difficult with it.

There are a larger number of volunteers who according to internal guidelines delete unwanted discussion.

Liability for illegal statements

Users of 2channel are anonymous. Therefore, the author can not identify individual contributions by illegal entries injured normally. This means that civil rights of action against the individual author and criminal responsibility of the author usually fail because of its anonymity. However, there are also cases in which a claimant has at least experienced by the operator of 2channel 's IP address.

A liability of the operator, however, is conceivable under Japanese law. There are already various court proceedings in which victims have sued.

A well-known case is a suit of Debito Arudou. This is known primarily as a plaintiff in the process to racial discrimination in Yunohana Onsen in Otaru, with which he defended himself against a policy of "Japanese Only" this operation. Him were subordinated to 2channel racist remarks. However, he fought back with a lawsuit, which was successful, but still cause problems with the foreclosure.

The operator of 2channel, Hiroyuki Nishimura, does not feel obligated to fulfill legally established claims. Asahi Shimbun quoted him as follows: We are all living bound by Actually on incomplete set of rules - you do not have to pay if you simply refuse to pay. ( "We live in a reality all its non-binding rules - you do not need to pay if you simply refuses to pay ").

There are numerous successful lawsuits victim whose total value exceeds $ 4,000,000 already.

Social action

2channel 2004 was stage a love story that has become famous under the name Densha Otoko in years.

Next 2channel had taken also influence the choice for Person of the Year by Time Magazine. A campaign in 2channel meant that the server crashed due to excessive turnout and the candidate in question was excluded from the election.

Sources of revenue

2channel generates revenue from advertising. A system to do it is to get links from discussion contributions to an external site not to operate immediately, but first forwarded to an intermediate page where the advertising is placed. The user must then first of all look at the advertising side, before he comes to the page of interest to him.

Another source of income is that older discussions are moved to an archive where they can be accessed for a fee.