Logan Paul: Has YouTube gone too far?

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It’s surely no news to anyone that Logan Paul, a popular YouTuber, actor and former “Viner”, recently posted a very controversial video whilst on holiday in Japan. The video consisted of Logan venturing into what was locally known as the “Japanese suicide forest”, which is renowned as a location to commit suicide. Logan went in there in his vlog- supposedly unaware of what he could find. When he did stumble across a man who had committed suicide, instead of turning off his cameras, he turned them upon the body, walking around and inspecting it on video with a small, insufficient blur. He and his friends even joked around there and were smiling, then eventually left the forest, informed authorities and spoke rudely to an official who told him to leave the premises.

Mr. Paul has 15 million subscribing followers of his content on YouTube, most of whom are between the ages of 8-12. Peculiarly, the most telling and ironic comment from Logan Paul in his video was that “there are these kids walking right nearby, what if they stumbled upon this guy?”. Unfortunately, he seems unaware that his audience is the same demographic – and six million of these followers saw this video before it was taken down- perhaps a few more than he was worried about. Somehow, there was a difference between the kids near the forest and his viewers in Logan Paul’s mind.

This, sadly, is a more extreme example of countless others of Logan being brash and unimaginably ignorant in public. Even in his tour to Japan, it seemed he couldn’t help but be a nuisance on the streets, irritate police officers, break merchandise in shops, swear loudly with lewd language around scared wells; the list is endless.

An even more worrying notion is that there seems to be no real punishment for his actions, other than harmless criticism; there’s no such thing as negative publicity. Is it time for these media giants to be held accountable for their reckless actions? Surely they have a responsibility not only for their own actions but for the impact on their adoring followers who are influenced by brash, arrogant personas?

Since the incident, YouTube has instigated several sanctions on Logan Paul. His videos will no longer have top-tier adverts on them, meaning that he will revert to YouTube’s general monetisation scheme and he will ultimately receive far less money from his videos. Additionally, all of his YouTubeRed  projects, which also generate income, have been “put on hold” by YouTubeRed, and one of his main shows, namely “Foursome”, he will not feature in. Nevertheless, even with all of these punishments taking place and in Logan Paul’s darkest moments on social media, he still gains thousands of followers daily.

Logan Paul, social media giant

With modern technology becoming more and more advanced, parents struggle to understand everything that their children do on the internet and YouTube. Often children will be watching these videos unsupervised and absorbing these ignorant social traits from their idols, and the problems don’t stop there.

Logan Paul and his brother, Jake Paul, have both become sensationally popular just in 2017 alone, gaining together around 25 million subscribers. Now they are capitalising on their fame in a whole new, terrifying way. Both brothers are very keen on pushing their “merch” which is clothing and accessories customised with their brands. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for their demographic audience. Their constant reminders to buy their merchandise for their worshipping audience of young children must hit home, and these children don’t know any better, that the clothing is ridiculously overpriced; they are simply doing what is instructed of them.

Of course, some of the blame arguably lies with the parents of the children and there is definitely substance to that. But I think they, like their children, are somewhat ignorant of what’s really going on. This is why parents must check up on what their children are watching; as they would if it were any other media. Perhaps more needs to be done by YouTube, to help prevent these internet “messiahs” from exploiting practically anything for views and clicks, guidelines should be far more enforced than they are today.