Japan's top court overturns ruling, orders Twitter to remove posts

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Japan's top court overturns ruling, orders Twitter to remove posts

TOKYO Kyodo - Japan's top court has overturned a lower court ruling that dismissed a man's demand that Twitter Inc. delete tweets showing his arrest history, ordering the U.S. company to remove the online tweets.

The Supreme Court's Second Petty Bench held that the existence of the posts was an invasion of the man's privacy, overturning a Tokyo High Court ruling and affirming a district court's decision.

In 2017, the top court set strict standards in a similar lawsuit, dismissing another man's request to remove news search results of his arrest for child prostitution from Google Inc.'s search engine.

At the time, the court decided that the deletion of search results can only be allowed if the significance of privacy protection clearly outweighs that of information disclosure.

The point of contention was whether the same standards should apply to Twitter even if it does not have the same information infrastructure as Google.

A man from northeastern Japan was arrested in 2012 over trespass allegations and ordered to pay a fine.

Following the incident, a series of tweets citing news articles carrying his name and the incident have been posted, affecting the man's job search.

The district court had ruled in favor of the man, but Twitter Inc. appealed the ruling.