Logan Paul is said to be one of the most successful YouTuber’s to date. He was previously ranked on YouTube’s Google Preferred Programme which placed ads on YouTube’s top 5% content makers. He has also gained fame through the now-discontinued social media platform called Vine where users could post short video clips.
Paul was known for being silly and always posting rather immature content. On December 31st, 2017 he posted a video of him exploring the Aokigahara Forest in Japan which has gotten the reputation of being a ‘Suicide Forest’. He has faced much backlash and criticism after posting this video.
Paul filmed himself in front of what appeared to be a dead body hanging from a tree. The video got approximately 6.3 million views before being taken down and approximately 500,000-600,000 likes. Upon discovery of the body, he continued to make jokes about the body and showed little respect towards the body. He zooms in on the mans clearly dead body and shouts “Yo, are you alive?! Are you f***ing with us?”. The backlash that followed the release of the video was evident on social media platforms like Twitter. Former Breaking Bad star, Aaron Paul, expressed his disgust toward Logan Paul on twitter when he tweeted:
How dare you! You disgust me. I can't believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) January 2, 2018
YouTube also expressed their desire to diminish ties with Paul. They have removed him from the preferred program, halted production of his YouTube Film “The Thinning”, and was removed from the YouTube series Foursome.
Paul has one of the biggest channels on YouTube with a following of just over 15 million people. His audience is predominantly composed of young people. Young people are extremely impressionable and when they see this kind of content in can have an impact on how they view things. Paul should take the role he has in the development of children more seriously.
The video has since been taken down by Logan Paul following his apology video. This video has accumulated approximately 40 million views. Paul will also make a profit off of this apology video as he earns money for the number of views his videos receive which many believe he does not deserve.
I believe that YouTubers like Paul should be held to a higher standard with the content they post as their videos have to ability to influence many of their young subscribers’ minds. YouTubers have the ability to reach to people throughout the world of all age groups. These users are idolized and are made relevant in social media. We should be focusing our attention on people who spread a positive message. Logan Paul has even won awards at the Teen Choice Awards, an award ceremony where the awards are voted by the fans. This demonstrates how he is applauded for his insensitive behaviour by his fans.
We should give recognition to YouTubers who post positive content that is both funny and respectful. Not give the spotlight to someone who makes fun of suicide for profit.