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Why YouTube and Logan Paul Are In Hot Water


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By Rose Joffe ’21, Contributor 

Logan Paul, a content creator for YouTube with more than fifteen million subscribers, has recently found himself in the midst of a major internet backlash. Logan filmed a video in Aokigahara Forest, otherwise known as “Suicide Forest”, located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. Logan filmed a freshly dead body of someone who committed suicide, but did not include a resource like a suicide hotline in the video. He then went on to address suicide light-heartedly and generally used the corpse of a man who had committed suicide for entertainment purposes. According to Logan in a recent apology video, his initial goal when filming the video was “to entertain, to push the boundaries”. Unfortunately, it seems that this time he may pushed the boundaries a little too far. The video not only reached about 6 million views, but it also appeared on the YouTube trending list, and was kept up online for twenty-four hours before Logan took it down himself. While Logan later claimed that he was trying to raise awareness, the message that he sent to his followers was not that at all.

YouTube is also being punished for the video as well. Although Paul is under the spotlight at the moment, this is definitely not the first time that outrageously offensive videos have been posted on YouTube by users with a large influence. For example, the YouTuber PewDiePie was slammed for posting videos with anti-Semitic content last February. As mentioned earlier, Logan’s recent video was placed on YouTube trending. The YouTube help website states that videos are placed on the trending list if they are “appealing to a wide range of viewers”; are “not misleading, clickbait, or sensational”; “capture the breadth on what’s happening on YouTube and in the world”; and are “surprising or novel”. The system “tries to choose videos that will be most relevant to our viewers,”, implying that the videos are handpicked by YouTube to be placed on trending. This means that the video was specifically selected – likely by either an editorial team or computer algorithm – to be placed on the trending list by YouTube. YouTube helped Paul’s video gain more views and popularity.

The reactions from Paul’s video show that when something is put on the internet, the poster should be responsible and think carefully about how other people will react to it. This is especially important for people who have a large following and influence. Logan Paul is an example of how losing perspective in pursuit of views, money and fame can wreck a career. Not only was Logan Paul careless, but he was careless while handling such a difficult, controversial subject as suicide. With a large audience of teenagers and children, Logan showed how irresponsible he was by handling suicide in a casual, immature manner. Hopefully in the future, users will learn from Paul’s mistake.

 

Suicide Prevention Hotline- 1-800-273-8255

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Why YouTube and Logan Paul Are In Hot Water