JAPAN: Rest in Tweet

LEXIE TUCKER WRITES – Most people are lucky enough to enjoy twitter fame while they are still among the living. Unfortunately, recently deceased Japanese journalist Kenji Goto will not have this luxury. A 4-year-old tweet from Sept. 7, 2010 has spread across major social networking sites like wildfire, letting the world know exactly what kind of talent has been destroyed by the terrorist group ISIS.

The tweet reads: “Closing my eyes and holding still. It’s the end if I get mad or scream. It’s close to a prayer. Hate is not for humans. Judgment lies with God. That’s what I learned from my Arabic brothers and sisters.” As of February 8, the post has been re-tweeted over 41,811 times.

People from around the world were affected by Goto’s message of tolerance and showed it via social media. According to USA Today, 15-year-old high school student Yuki Watabe retweeted the original message along with one of his own: “He was such a wonderful person. He had a strong sense of doing the right thing.”

Last month, ISIS released a video showing Goto with his friend and fellow journalist Haruna Yukawa. The Japanese and Jordanian governments attempted to negotiate terms and conditions for their release, but to no avail. Goto was decapitated in a video released on various social media accounts believed to be owned and operated by ISIS. The last time Goto tweeted was in October, which was right around the time he traveled to Syria in an attempt to rescue Yukawa.

Goto’s friend, Toshi Maeda, verified that the Twitter account is real, and that @kenjigotoip is indeed Goto’s handle. Maeda recently commented on Goto’s strong belief in the power of citizen journalism, and stated that “He was like a brother to me. He was an inspiration. He was a friend and a colleague.”

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