YouTube creators hold an audience. Their subscribers are a following and have a community in support of their favorite channels. Their following allows them to create merchandise, generate fame, and even make a steady career out of social media. YouTubers are slowly becoming celebrities with their millions of subscribers, the site is allowing for many career advancements and opportunities for those who are successful. However, to the kid who just randomly decided to film videos in their room one day, having such an influence over an audience can seem almost unfathomable. Take Logan Paul for instance.
Here's a quick background if you're unfamiliar with Logan Paul. Logan is 22 years old and originally started making videos with the app Vine and eventually moved to YouTube, where his channel currently has over 15 million subscribers. His subscribers referred to as the "LoGang" is mainly a younger audience. His videos have a total of 3.98 BILLION VIEWS. His success on social media has allowed him to gain several film and TV acting credits, including an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Basically, this kid has a reach that is essentially a small country amount of people.
One of Logan's latest daily vlogs was him exploring the Japanese Suicide Forest, which is nicknamed due to the vast amount of people that visit the forest every year to take their own life. In the video, Logan and his friends stumble across a body in the forest of a man that seems to have recently killed himself. Logan blurs out his face, but keeps the camera rolling, even zooming in and describing how the body looks. He goes on joking around in the video; which yes, humor can be a way to cope with something, but if you have an audience looking up to you, you should be a little more aware of the reality of what you are witnessing.
Obviously, this video received major controversy, but it also was the #1 trending video on YouTube before it was removed. With the intention of the video being to "bring suicide and mental illness awareness", the video clearly had a title that inspired clickbait and Logan even referred to it as his "craziest video yet". In his apology, he also clearly stated the video was "not posted for views. I get views.". I'm sorry, but with a following of 15 million people, you should be a little more aware of the repercussions and what you're bringing to your audience. Just because you've never seen a dead body doesn't mean your audience of young adults needs to see one too.
Can't forget to mention the amount of disrespect to the victim and their family.. how can one be so oblivious to the severity of what they're witnessing? I know you can't really predict what you would do in such a situation, but why is your first reaction to keep the cameras on and keep recording? Because the audience has made Logan realize that anything and everything he does is bound to rack up millions of views.
The culture we have created around YouTube has allowed vloggers, like Logan, to go to the extremes to get views. Unfortunately, although he says he has good intentions with the posting of the video, he knew that posting a video of a dead body would be bound to get even more people to click on even more than his other videos. He even reminded viewers to subscribe at the end of the vlog.
Although Logan is still under fire for the video, his fanbase still continues to support him. While this seems like something that would end his career, it will only make his stronger. He is getting the attention of mainstream media and celebrities. While the video was sickening, it will only be a matter of time before Logan is back doing his daily shenanigans and getting millions of views. Turns out, being an insensitive dumb ass is a multi-million dollar career and Logan will stay relevant as long as people keep watching.