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Social Media Star’s Video Creates Widespread Controversy

Kelsi Sego, Staff Writer

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Fame speaks louder than words.

A disturbing video has taken the internet by storm causing people to question the creator’s inventions.

Social Media Star Logan Paul posted a controversial video to Youtube last week. Paul has been criticized for posting such inappropriate content to Youtube especially because he has such young viewers. Youtube issued a statement but the company was criticized for not inflicting more harsh punishments on Paul.   

Paul sparked internet controversy last week. The internet star with over 15 million subscribers posted a video to Youtube in which he and a group of friends began to explore Japan’s Aokigahara forest which is infamous for suicides. Shortly into his journey, Paul and his companions stumbled across a man whose face was blurred out for privacy that committed suicide hanging from a tree. Paul begins by acting shocked, then he proceeded to film the body while laughing and making jokes. Paul deleted the video a few hours after he had posted it as well. In the days span of the video being up it accumulated 6.3 million views. The video ended up trending on Youtube.

Paul whose fan base largely consists of younger viewers has been harshly criticised for his insensitivity and inappropriateness. Senior, Bethany White who works at the YMCA has seen this videos impact on the kids she works with. “I’m not a ‘Loganger’ [A Logan fan] but my kids at the YMCA are really into Jake [Logan’s brother]. This video was shocking to say the least. Paul has a huge fan base of elementary/middle school children and it was disappointing seeing him post this for their eyes to view. These kids running up to me talking about how they’ve seen a dead body is horrible, they shouldn’t have to experience that at this age. These kids are heartbroken over this situation and they don’t really understand all the backlash he’s getting. Now, the excuse that it was a ‘mistake’ is unacceptable but i’m glad he’s taking time off Youtube to reflect and can hopefully learn from this situation,” said White.

He posted a public apology, which is shown below, as well as posting a video apologizing for the video. “I didn’t do it for the views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention,” said Paul via Twitter. Paul has decided to take a break from YouTube to reflect on his actions.

Despite these statements Paul has still been receiving a lot of backlash for his actions. People are displeased with him due to his making fun of suicide and lack of tact regarding the situation. Some have even called for Paul’s Youtube channel to be deleted or suspended. The video that Paul posted was monetized meaning that he was able to make revenue from advertisements on the video. Many have criticized him for profiting from the man’s suicide.

Youtube issued a statement earlier this week about the incident. “Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video. YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated. We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Center,” said Youtube in their statement.

Many are appalled at Youtube’s lack of punishment for the 22-year-old social media mogul. Some believe that it is unfair that youtubers who bring in the company lots of money are given special treatment over youtubers who do not have such a wide reach. Many have criticized the company for favoring youtubers who bring in the company more money.

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Social Media Star’s Video Creates Widespread Controversy