We're only less than a week into 2018 and, of course, the year has already turned into another flaming pile of garbage, all thanks to a random YouTuber pining for those views. If you're unaware of what's been happening in the YouTube community, a man named Logan Paul uploaded a video on January 1 about his finding of a dead body in the Aokigahara forest in Japan, more commonly referred to as "suicide forest." This disturbing video, willingly posted by Paul, shows the actual dead body (the only part blurred is his head), while Paul and his friends laugh off the situation they are in.
The video does not include any educational background information about the significance of Aokigahara to Japan and does not address ways to seek help if you are contemplating suicide, unlike many other videos posted onto YouTube that actually made an effort to respectfully portray the Japanese landmark. Instead, Logan Paul manipulated someone's tragic death as a means for his channel to receive an extreme popularity boost.
Although Paul claims that he didn't "do it for views," it is clear that Paul only used his trip to Aokigahara for clickbait entertainment, especially when he places the unblurred dead body in his thumbnail. Paul somehow thought it would be perfectly acceptable to use the suicide of a stranger to make his video seem edgy and original. And it can't be ignored that his video was even featured on YouTube's trending page before being taken down.
Another surprising part of this whole ordeal is that it took twelve hours for YouTube to finally delete the video. Twelve hours. Half a day, this video was online for anyone and everyone, including the many children that subscribe to Paul's channel, to witness. It's ridiculous that it took that long for YouTube to reprimand Paul and his video, especially given that Paul has such a huge following on their platform.
Among the Logan Paul situation, YouTube has been recently facing lots of other criticism regarding the age-gating and demonetization of other videos. For example, videos with just "LGBTQ" in their title were being restricted or demonetized for having "inappropriate" content.
I'm not sure what kind of excuse YouTube will have for allowing Logan Paul to post such awful content, but I doubt Paul will face any repercussions. In YouTube's eyes, huge superstars like Paul and his brother, Jake, can do no wrong since they rake in so much cash for the company. This selfishness will become the downfall of YouTube if it doesn't do a better job of punishing content that's actually inappropriate.