Logan Paul makes more extensive apology for suicide video, public respond

Logan Paul (pictured) has issued a more extensive apology for posting a YouTube video showing what appeared to be a body in a Japanese forest known as a suicide destination. The initial video he posted Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, showed the prolific social media user trekking with friends in the Aokigahara forest near Mount Fuji. He seems aware the forest is sometimes chosen for suicides but is surprised to see what appears to be a body hanging from a tree. (Phil McCarten/Invision/AP, File)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Logan Paul makes more extensive apology for suicide video, public respond

TOKYO: Logan Paul has issued a more extensive apology for posting a YouTube video showing what appeared to be a body in a Japanese forest known as a suicide destination.
The initial video he posted Sunday showed the prolific social media user trekking with friends in the Aokigahara forest near Mount Fuji. He seems aware the forest is sometimes chosen for suicides but is surprised to see what appears to be a body hanging from a tree.
Media reports say the video was viewed some 6 million times before being removed from Paul’s YouTube channel, a verified account with more than 15 million subscribers. Segments of the video were still appearing online Wednesday.
A storm of criticism followed, with commenters saying Paul seemed joking and disrespectful in the video and that his initial apology was inadequate.
“I don’t expect to be forgiven. I’m simply here to apologize,” he said on the more somber video apology uploaded on YouTube and Twitter late Tuesday. “None of us knew how to react or how to feel.”
Paul said he wanted to apologize to the Internet, to all who saw the video and to those suffering mental illness and depression. “Most importantly, I want to apologize to the victim and his family.”
YouTube said it prohibits violent content posted in a sensational or disrespectful manner. Its statement says, “Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video.”
In Paul’s initial apology, he said he had wanted to raise awareness about suicide and possibly save lives, and he denied his goal was to drive clicks to his social media content.
“I thought I could make a positive ripple on the Internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity,” he said in his Twitter post.
Paul’s credibility has nose-dived and more talk is not the recommended route for damage control, says branding expert Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, who advises celebrities, executives and media.

Paul should instead “show through action,” volunteering his time and money to suicide prevention groups, Schiffer said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
“From a branding perspective, he is going to pay a big price,” he said.
“This is going down as a big giant mistake and shake the soul of many digital influencers like him that will have to think very carefully as to what they put out to the public before they go ahead and push upload.”
Masaki Ito, spokesman for the Yamanashi prefectural police, said people aren’t obligated to report a body, but police were interested in talking to Paul as a suicide may be involved. But local police overseeing the forest area in Paul’s video declined comment Wednesday. Japanese police generally do not comment on suicides.
Japan has a per capita suicide rate among the highest in the world, with more than 21,000 occurring a year, according to government data. Many blame the high rate on the value Japanese place on conformity. Suicide also does not have the religious stigma here it does in other cultures and has been portrayed sometimes as an honorable way to take responsibility.
The Mount Fuji forest has been known for suicides because its seclusion means people know they won’t be found for a long time.
YouTube, owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc., has not responded to questions about removing Paul’s video channel.
In another video uploaded there Monday, Paul mentions the encounter with the body, saying, “That was weird.” The rest of that video shows him romping through a Tokyo park, talking about his apparel brand, visiting gadget stores and running around wearing a Pokemon outfit.


Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

Updated 19 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

  • Broadcast of political messages in coverage forbidden, analyst confirms.
  • Saudi football federation urges FIFA to sanction the Doha-owned channel.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has a justified case in complaining to FIFA over the “politicization” of the World Cup by the Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports, a prominent TV analyst has said.
A flurry of comments by hosts and pundits aired on BeIN’s Arabic station prompted the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to complain to FIFA this week, saying the broadcaster was using the football tournament to spread political messages aimed at insulting Saudi Arabia and its leaders.
In its complaint, the federation called on FIFA to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.
One BeIN commentator accused Saudi Arabia of “selling out the Palestinian cause,” while a Doha-based international footballer invited on the channel was allowed to call for an end to the year-long boycott of Qatar by neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, principal TV research analyst at IHS Markit Technology, said that politicized coverage was expressly forbidden by world football’s governing body as well as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
“FIFA and UEFA forbid the transmission of political messages during football matches for which they control the rights. It’s not only comments by the broadcasters — but even banners; everything (political) is forbidden,” the analyst told Arab News.
“So messages about Palestine, about political things, are not allowed.”
Papavassilopoulos said that if there is evidence of such cases, authorities in the Kingdom would be justified in taking the matter to FIFA.
“If there are video clips that show BeIN media personnel speaking against Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a case,” he said.
But whether FIFA will take any action against BeIN is another matter. Papavassilopoulos pointed to the fact that BeIN is a valued client of FIFA — it bought the rights to host the World Cup across the Middle East and North Africa — and that Qatar plans to host the tournament in 2022.
“BeIN media is a very good client for FIFA. And don’t forget that Qatar is the country that will host the 2022 World Cup,” he said. “It’s going to be very very hard for FIFA to impose penalties on BeIN media knowing that Qatar will hold the next World Cup.”
Some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against BeIN’s politicization of World Cup coverage, urging FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the coverage.
FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Arab News.