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Yahoo Japan Corp. said Tuesday that it has introduced a function to automatically shut comment sections of its news article site when defamatory posts are detected.

Using artificial intelligence, the unit of Z Holdings Corp. will make it impossible for users to view or submit new comments based on the number of posts violating the site’s policies and other criteria.

The new function was introduced to coincide with the start of the official campaign period for the Oct. 31 Lower House election.

A message urging users to take care not to make illegal posts on political news articles will be displayed during the campaign period.

So far, Yahoo Japan has deleted the posts it has judged to be defamatory and suspended posts by users who repeatedly violated the site’s comment policy.

The new function will restrict not only defamatory posts, but also other comments. Yahoo Japan said that it will continue to review and improve the system while hearing opinions from experts and users.

Online defamation has been an increasingly discussed topic in Japan, following the possible impact that negative comments about Princess Mako’s coming marriage with commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro may have had on her development of complex post-traumatic stress disorder. The marriage, slated for Oct. 26, has been met with criticism due to a money scandal involving Komuro’s mother.

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