The Jakarta Post
Logan Paul poses for a photo during the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/Frederic J. Brown)
YouTube is looking into “further consequences” for American vlogger and actor Logan Paul, who triggered uproar with a vlog that prominently featured the body of a suicide victim in Aokigahara National Forest, Japan.
The video was uploaded on Dec. 31 on Paul’s YouTube channel and garnered some 6 million views before it was taken down due to widespread condemnation from netizens who accused Paul of making light of suicide.
In a statement that spans five tweets, YouTube finally responded to the backlash, saying: “You’re right to be [frustrated] […] You deserve to know what’s going on. Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week. Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views.”
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.
In his second apology, he said he regretted uploading the video and even recording the incident in Japan’s “suicide forest.”
The following day, the vlogger announced in a tweet that he was “taking time to reflect” and has not released a vlog or tweeted since.
Fellow YouTuber Anna Akana, who has openly discussed her younger sister’s suicide on her channel, expressed her disdain for the video, saying: “That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.”
The event has led many to question YouTube’s policies, as well as how seriously and responsibly it addresses such problems. YouTube promised in a statement that it was listening to feedback and expected more from creators who build their community on the platform.
Even though Paul has deleted the video from his channel, re-uploads continue to surface on the internet.
YouTube has yet to reveal what steps it intends to take next. (afr/kes)