Is Logan Paul banned from YouTube? Ever since he shared that controversial video over the weekend, there’s been a lot of discussion about whether the vlogger should still be allowed to have a channel. With so much backlash — even from other celebrities — plenty think he shouldn’t. Others, however, say his two apologies are evidence that he knows that he made a mistake and that he should be given a chance to redeem himself. I agree that he should be given that chance, and I don’t think that his career should be automatically over. But I do think that he should lose his YouTube Channel.
I want to be upfront — I didn’t watch the video. After all, it was titled “We Found A Dead Body in Japan’s Suicide Forest,” so off the bat I knew it was something I didn’t want to see. By the time I heard the news, it had already been taken down and hearing what was in it, I wasn’t going to search it out. I did, however, see a clip of what people were saying showed Logan laughing at the discovery of a suicide victim. Fans explained it as a coping mechanism — he wasn’t sure what to do, and he was shocked, so he cracked jokes as a way to try and be okay with it. And I see that. But at the same time, it only makes me more sure that, despite the long process it must’ve taken to buy plane tickets to Japan, take the half-a-day long flight there, travel to the Aokigahara Forest, plan his visit and the vlog they intended to make, end up with the vlog they had, edit it, and then share it, he didn’t give nearly enough thought to what he was doing. And it sounds like he had plenty of time.
tomorrow’s vlog will be the craziest and most real video I’ve ever uploaded
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) December 31, 2017
With a viewer base as big as his — and with so many of his followers made up of kids and teens — Logan has a responsibility when it comes to what he decides to put on his channel. This is different than just the usual, Disney-Channel-role-model-gone-rogue kind of way. When Miley Cyrus entered her wild phase, it was in her personal time. For him, his vlogs are his work and his job. They’re how he makes money. So by uploading this video, he was deliberately exposing kids and teens around the world to a dead body. And, let’s be clear, it wasn’t just a dead body — it was the remains of a man who’d struggled so much in his life that he’d decided to end it. The vlogger purposefully filmed that man’s remains and then uploaded them to YouTube where his young followers got notifications pinging on their phones from his Channel Subscriptions and Twitter notifications to check it out. I don’t think he thought about what he was doing in that way. But not thinking about it, for me, is the problem.
Aokigahara Forest is known as Japan’s Suicide Forest. When the 22-year-old planned to go there, he clearly didn’t do enough research about it. It’s not a “spooky, scary” place to make the perfect backdrop for a cool video — it’s a place where people struggling with their mental health go specifically and sadly with the intention to die by suicide. Logan and his friends joked about finding dead bodies there without considering the fact that might be a reality, and to me, it demonstrated that he was not emotionally or intellectually prepared to visit the forest. And he certainly was not prepared to share that same experience with kids and teens around the world while providing them with the support they’d need to engage with that kind of serious material.
idk man just go
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) December 31, 2017
Again, this is Logan’s job. And when somebody screws up at work, they get fired. Nobody is his boss, so nobody can technically fire him. But YouTube can decide not to provide a platform for him — especially one that puts so many minors at risk. After all, he did violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines, meaning he also violated their Terms of Service and jeopardized his account. YouTube confirmed to The Huffington Post that a “Community Guidelines” strike was issued to his channel, which means he “may not have access to some YouTube features.” But strikes aren’t permanent. After three months, they disappear and users have full access again.
“YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner,” a spokesperson confirmed to CNN. “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.” That is to say, a content warning without further resources and respect for the subject matter simply isn’t enough. And it could be argued that the video didn’t just violate YouTube’s “violent or graphic content” policy, but it’s “child endangerment” policy, as well. Though it didn’t show minors being put at risk, the video itself endangered the children watching it.
So sorry. pic.twitter.com/JkYXzYsrLX
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
I don’t think that the vlogger should be banned from YouTube or the internet forever or anything like that. But I do think that he’s demonstrated that he didn’t understand or fully appreciate the position that his viewership puts him in. This isn’t just a hobby that he does in his spare time, as fun as it may be. This is what he does for work and to make his living, and with that comes different responsibilities and expectations of the content he produces. Permanently suspending his account would be one way to hold him responsible for this serious mistake. If he chose to start a new channel, he’d have the opportunity to regain his followers and subscribers. Only this time, they’d be making an educated decision about whether they trusted him and the content he produces. Letting him keep his account but stripping his subscriptions would have a similar effect — or demonetizing his account and letting him decide whether to stay with the account he’s built up or start a new one.
taking time to reflect
no vlog for now
see you soon
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 4, 2018
Logan Paul isn’t canceled, and there’s no Logan Paul is over party. But this was a serious mistake. And there should be serious consequences for it. Issuing an apology, no matter how sincere (or briefly monetized), just isn’t going to cut it. If he wants to keep his channel, his subscribers, and his monetized videos, he needs to do more to show that he understands the responsibility that comes with it. But personally, I think he’d be better off starting with a clean slate.
If you or anyone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.
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