They are looking into ‘further consequences’ for the vlogger
YouTube are now investigating “further consequences” for Logan Paul, who a little over a week ago faced massive backlash for posting a video entitled “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…” in which he finds and films the body of a suicide victim.
He quickly took the video down, as did his crew, but due to the unforgiving and permanent nature of the internet, other YouTubers had found a way to repost it. Paul apologised, firstly in a brief statement and then in a more sincere video, but the damage was done – when you make the decision to enter a forest known for suicides, to continue filming a dead body when you find one, to laugh in the face of it, to edit, upload and share the footage, people are going to be a little sensitive.
The incident raised important, worrying questions about the eroding of morality online and how much responsibility YouTube has to protect its viewers from disturbing content. YouTube was criticised for doing nothing to punish Paul, who not only uses the platform, but has 15 million subscribers and a mansion paid for by the money YouTube line his pockets with. This obviously isn’t the first incident in which a YouTuber’s behaviour either on or off the platform has had a wider effect, but it was perhaps one of the more shocking ones. The silence from YouTube, who are essentially Paul’s employers, has also been under fire – but today in a tweet thread, they’ve acknowledged their responsibility.
One petition calling for Paul’s channel to be deleted has reached almost half a million signatures. “It’s disgusting and shouldn't be tolerated. But with the power of the internet I think we can get rid of this scumbag once and for all, with your help of signing this petition it could lead to (YouTube) deleting his entire channel!” the petition reads.
The YouTube account tweeted “many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what's going on.” and “Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views”. The platform said that it is looking into “further consequences” for Paul, but it’s unclear what this will entail – whether he’ll be banned or suspended from YouTube, have his stream of money cut, or just be given a stern telling off. What is clear, however, is that further consequences are necessary – while Paul has now been shamed to the public, his audience will never abandon him, and they are the ones getting him paid and keeping him relevant. YouTube has a responsibility to viewers and to other creators to make sure that everything is as harmless as it can be on its platform.
An open letter to our community:— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what's going on.
Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views. As Anna Akana put it perfectly: "That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness."— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
It’s taken us a long time to respond, but we’ve been listening to everything you’ve been saying. We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we’ll have more to share soon on steps we’re taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again.— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018