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Yahoo Japan shuts down comment sections for reports on ex-Princess Mako's news conference

The Yahoo News comments section is seen disabled on an article from the Mainichi Shimbun about the post-wedding press conference of former princess Mako Komuro and her husband Kei, on Oct. 26, 2021. (Mainichi/Hayato Matsui)

TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan Corp. has hidden the reader comments section of several news reports on the wedding news conference held by former princess Mako Komuro and her husband Kei on Oct. 26.

    There is a notice below the news feed articles that says, "Due to the number of comments and other factors violating our platform rules, we are hiding the comments section."

    On Oct. 19, the information technology giant introduced a feature that automatically hides the comment section of its news distribution service "Yahoo News" using artificial intelligence (AI).

    A Yahoo Japan public relations office representative said, "Regardless of the media or content of the article, we automatically hide the comments section if the content of the posts violates our rules. We don't only hide the comments for the articles on that wedding, so please don't misunderstand us."

    Yahoo Japan, one of the country's largest internet portals, has revealed that it has been hiding the comment sections on several news articles since Oct. 19. It has also said that it plans to hold expert meetings toward making improvements to the comment sections.

    The Imperial Household Agency announced earlier that Mako, 30, has been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder due to slander and abuse over her relationship with Kei Komuro, also 30. At the Oct. 26 news conference, Kei said, "I am very saddened that Mako has suffered physical and mental problems as a result of the continued defamation."

    (Japanese original by Digital News Center)

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