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.


Call for UK to act over Al Jazeera’s ‘platform’ for terror group

Updated 15 July 2018
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Call for UK to act over Al Jazeera’s ‘platform’ for terror group

LONDON: The British government has been urged to launch an investigation into allegations Al Jazeera has given a “platform” to an extremist group linked to some of the UK’s bloodiest terror attacks.
The Qatar-owned broadcaster has featured members of the outlawed Al-Muhajiroun group on its Arabic channel on numerous occassions, prompting calls for action by the UK authorities.
While the clips are historic, the fact that they are still available online makes Al Jazeera “a vehicle for inciting terrorism,” said Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global, a management consultancy focused on the Middle East.
Al-Muhajiroun was formed in 1983 by hate preacher Omar Bakri, who is currently in prison in Lebanon for terror offenses. It was banned in the UK in 2010 but has carried on under a number of guises.
The perpetrators of the 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby were linked to Al-Muhajiroun, as was at least one of the extremists involved in the June 2017 terror attack at London Bridge, in which eight people were killed and 48 injured.
Bakri had been a guest on historic Al Jazeera programs, and in one clip dismissed Britain’s non-Islamic laws, claiming they “do not concern us,” and defended his group.
Nuseibeh said that, because such clips are still accessible on Al Jazeera’s website, the broadcaster should be held to account.
“Anyone looking for material about Al-Muhajiroun can find this now,” he told Arab News.
“This is a clear breach of British laws and the fact that Al Jazeera continues to host those (clips) on its website, which is accessible in Britain, makes Al Jazeera a vehicle for inciting terrorism.
“The UK government is strongly encouraged to investigate why Al Jazeera continues to host interviews with this group and impose appropriate penalties.”
Nuseibeh said that Al Jazeera had featured members of the Al-Muhajiroun terror group on “many occasions,” allowing members to defend the terror group and openly criticizing the UK’s move to proscribe it. The Qatari broadcaster should be investigated by authorities, he added.
“It cannot be ruled out that Al Jazeera has contributed to recruiting members for the group in Britain, particularly among Arabic speakers, and therefore (has a) role in inciting terrorists.”
“Why hasn’t the UK banned Al Jazeera yet?” Nuseibeh tweeted earlier on Saturday. “Clearly (the UK government) should do more and take those pages down.”
Al Jazeera did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Arab News.