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Suicide is not a joke, Logan Paul

Your exploitation of suicide is not equivalent to monetization

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Logan Paul’s audience targets younger viewers.

Logan Paul’s audience targets younger viewers.

Jaylee Cortes

Jaylee Cortes

Logan Paul’s audience targets younger viewers.

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Logan Paul is a 22-year-old American vlogger and actor. His name became known through Vine, an app where individuals can post six second videos. He later moved his following to YouTube and founded ‘Team 10,’ a group of vloggers sharing one YouTube channel.

His name filled international headlines when he posted a controversial video in early January showing a hanging body. In the video, Paul and his crew went to Japan to “deliver the most entertaining, exhilarating, and incredible content ever,” said in his ‘Kicked Out of Japan’ video. His many adventures on this trip included his visit to Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest.

Shortly into the trip, he encountered a body hanging from a nearby tree then proceeded to film. Security was later called to remove the body. Before calling the authorities, Logan had to make a show of how it was not staged. He filmed the body up close showing every aspect, including the hands turning blue from deoxygenation. After the body was removed, Paul made light of the situation by engaging in jokes about the tragic situation. He later tried to turn the video to an into “informational” on suicide prevention during the last minutes.

When first released, the video was successful, gaining 6 million views prior to removal. His fans showed their dedication making the video reach YouTube’s top trending in less than 24 hours. But once the video spread outside of his fan base to outside viewers, he received backlash from many, including YouTubers who publicly disapproved his actions on Twitter. Paul’s crew soon decided to take down the video. Paul later tweeted an apology. However the general public viewed Logan Paul as boasting and being cocky about himself.

Screen grab taken from Philip DeFranco’s “We need to talk about the Logan Paul problem, New escalations, and more...” video containing multiple backlash tweets from various Youtubers.

 

Later that day, Logan posted a two minute video apologizing more in depth. He apologized to the family, anyone struggling with mental illness, and anyone who saw the video. Both apologies were interpreted as ingenious. Many thought he only apologized because he was criticized for his actions.

YouTube released an apology stating their condolences to the victim’s family and the following statement, “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…”

Those who defend Logan Paul say people should forgive and forget. Mistakes happen. To those in defense of Logan Paul, here is why what he did was NOT okay.

“I just got to be careful not to disrespect the culture. Japanese is all the about the culture,” says Logan Paul in his video. Japanese culture is centered around respect. Respect is shown through the way they communicate on a daily basis. “Respect is the backbone of the culture, and it is ingrained in their rituals and traditions. Being bowed to as you leave any establishment, even sitting on the 200 mile/hour bullet train, the Shinkansen, by the train conductor as he leaves the cabin, is really a humbling experience. It reminds us of the importance of respect. As human beings it’s the basic tenet of how we should be treating one another,” says the Huffington Post.

During Logan Paul’s visit to Japan, he is seen disrespecting the culture multiple times: running through the streets of in Owarai dressed in a Pokemon costume harassassing residents, he pulled down his pants in the middle of a crossway, chasing and throwing dead fish at unbothered walkers and many other extremely disrespectful actions.

Watching him being completely disrespectful, I felt a great amount of sympathy for those harassed by Logan’s actions. I believe Logan should receive punishment for his actions. He may have issued an apology in regards to his suicide forest video, but one should be issued for the sum of his actions in Japan.

Most people are upset at him because of the insensitive video. What Paul failed to realize was that the body was a man, a brother, a friend. His life deserved to be respected. We may not know him, but his suicide may have impacted many.

Paul needs to understand that he has a wide audience, majority of which are young girls.He should be helping adolescents learn beneficial knowledge, rather than filling in their heads with his disrespectful actions which should not be socially acceptable.

Mr. Logan Paul needs to monitor what he posts on his social media outlet: whether it be a tweet, video on YouTube, or a comment. He needs to apologize to the victim’s family directly and take some time off of YouTube to re-evaluate the kind of content he wants to share with his young viewers.

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Suicide is not a joke, Logan Paul