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YOUTUBER STRIKES CONTROVERSY

Angel Sta. Maria and Arielle Santos

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“Yo, are you alive?” asks Youtube celebrity, Logan Paul, as he stumbles across a dead body in Japan’s Aokigahara “Suicide Forest.” Paul uploaded a video onto Youtube on December 31, 2017 titled “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…” with a thumbnail containing Paul expressing shock, wearing a hideously bright green Toy Story alien hat, beside a hanging dead body, only the face was blurred out. This led him to take a break off Youtube, Youtube halting their partnership, and even led the Japanese police wanting to question Paul.

 

Logan Paul is a well-known social media influencer with over 15 million subscribers on his channel, Logan Paul Vlogs, on Youtube. His audience mostly consists of young viewers; most no older than thirteen. His subscriber count is still growing, and his numbers have increased by 10% since the incident.  

 

The video reached #10 on Youtube’s trending page before it was taken down a day later and caused controversy all over the internet.  The video contained exactly what the title and thumbnail entailed. When Paul found the dead body, he continued to film while clearly exploiting the body by zooming into it. “His hands are purple. He did it this morning,” was one of the things the Youtube celebrity commented on. Paul and his friends laughed throughout the video, seemingly not taking the matter at hand as serious, which caused the most backlash from people. They claimed the laughter was a coping mechanism and that the video was to spread mental health awareness, but many disagree. Twitter user JhbTeam made a compilation of the laughing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Youtubers took to Twitter to share their thoughts about Logan Paul’s controversial video:

 

74.1% of students asked  (26 middle schoolers) were aware of the incident regarding Logan Paul, and 39.1% of students believe he just made a mistake. Two-thirds of those who forgave Paul weren’t actually apart of his “Logang,”  but don’t think he should be getting all the hate he’s been receiving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On January 3, Paul took a break from his channel after leaving an apology on both his Twitter and Youtube:

In his apology video, Paul promises multiple times that this is the last time that anything like this incident will happen again and stresses his regret repeatedly. Although many people, including many of our own students, question the sincerity of his claims. 7th grader Sylvia Wallin tells us the mentions of his views and popularity is what made the apology sound fake. Others believe what he did was so terrible that an apology isn’t enough to make up for it. 

 

True Logan fan, 7th grader Jordyn Gresham, believes his apology. Her message to Paul is: “I forgive you and I know you made a big mistake but you are still a role model to me. Ignore all the hate because it is just “white noise” as my mom says. I will continue to watch your vlogs. But PLEASE don’t make that kind of mistake again! #Logang4Life.” 

 

On January 10, 2018, Youtube decided to remove Paul from the Google Preferred platform, which causes major impact on his ad revenue. His appearance in Youtube Originals “Foursome” was cut. Even with Youtube’s response, many people believe that Youtube is still being biased for even letting the video be uploaded and failing to remove the video before it gained publicity.

 

“I think his account should have been terminated. He shouldn’t have a channel right now. But YouTube let it slide because he’s a big reason why a lot more people go on the website.” 7th grader Khristian Tamoria commented.

 

“I don’t think he should just be taking a break. He should be taken off YouTube. Plenty of LGBT videos are taken down by YouTube every day, but Logan Paul posts a video that is racist and shows a dead body, but it’s fine?” Wallin agreed.

 

Our students all concur that filming a dead body and posting it online is unacceptable, and when asked what they would do if they were in Logan Paul’s shoes almost all said they would definitely put their camera down in respect to the body. 7th grader Karina Serie points out, “The video completely disrespected the victim and his family, and he did not need to post this. It’s obvious that he used it for views, not as a way of spreading suicide awareness.”

 

7th grader Jaydyn Sadia believes videos like these tell younger viewers that suicide is a joke and blinds them from how serious it really is. Wallin adds on to that by saying, “It makes young viewers think that it’s okay to disrespect suicide victims or survivors.” 7th grader Fabiola Gonzalez also points out that seeing a dead body was very scary for her, and is something that should not be posted on the Internet, especially if your audience is as young as Logan Paul’s.

 

Youtube has only put Paul’s projects on an indefinite hold, refusing to take a proper stance on the subject.

 

In addition, rumors surfaced last week of Youtuber Shane Dawson. An audio clip belonging to an old podcast was cut and edited to make it look like Dawson was being pedophilic. He claimed that his sense of humor evolved since the clip and that he was not a pedophile. A YouTube channel, PopBlast, uploaded a video in which a screenshot of a receipt of $6,500 was given to them by Logan Paul’s manager, Jeffrey Levin. They claimed to have been paid to spread the rumor in attempt to divert the negative attention Paul’s been receiving elsewhere.

 

To this, Dawson replied: “I don’t believe Logan’s people had anything to do with it. It seems almost scripted.”

 

The last people heard of Logan Paul was with his run in with TMZ, where he said: “Everyone deserves second chances, bro.”

 

Do you think that Paul deserves a second chance?

 

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YOUTUBER STRIKES CONTROVERSY