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Yahoo Japan to require users' cell phone numbers to post comments on news stories

The Yahoo Japan Corp. logo (Mainichi/Tatsuya Michinaga)

TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan Corp. will make it mandatory for users to provide their cell phone numbers when posting in the comments section of its news distribution service in order to deter inappropriate postings, the IT firm has announced.

    The new rules announced on Oct. 18 will take effect in mid-November, and the company commented that it aims to "make people feel more at east to use the comments section and improve the quality of its speech forum."

    The information technology giant checks the content of "Yahoo News" reader comments around the clock and deletes posts violating its platform rules. Since 2018, it has taken measures to suspend posting by users who repeatedly make inappropriate comments such as ones deemed to be slanderous or discriminatory.

    However, there are cases where users who have been subjected to such action use another ID to repeat behavior violating the company rule. By linking the cell phone number to the postings, Yahoo Japan aims to ensure that the suspension penalty is thoroughly enforced.

    The death of 22-year-old professional wrestler Hana Kimura in 2020 sparked debate over cyberbullying, after she was verbally abused on social media and other media outlets over her remarks on a reality romance show. In July this year, the Penal Code was revised to make the punishment for cyberbullying more severe.

    (Japanese original by Mizuki Osawa, Digital News Center)

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