According to a study done by Fortunelords, an online marketing statistic service, around 1.3 billion people use Youtube and the site gets approximately 30 million visits a day. Chances are, given these shocking statistics you have heard of Youtube. Youtube is an online video sharing website where people can create and share their videos with anyone who wants to see them. Youtube was created in 2005, and since then, it has revolutionized the internet and the entertainment industry. Youtubers struggle to create the most relevant and entertaining content at the time with the goal of attracting the most views. Recently, as the site is continuously expanding, some Youtubers are using unethical and controversial methods in order to obtain views in this highly competitive market.
Logan Paul has become one of the most popular youtubers over the past year, reaching almost 16 million subscribers. In his vlogs, he does inappropriate activities that promote an unrealistic lifestyle with no consequences. While adults can see through this act, his views are primarily younger children who do not understand how unrealistic the life he shows in his videos is. This lazy and unethical format has proved successful causing him to be often ridiculed by the rest of the Youtube community for his lack of creativity and blatantly inappropriate messages. He recently posted his worst video yet.
Last week, Logan Paul posted a vlog of him and some of his friends in a Japanese forest notoriously known for suicides taking place. In the video, as one may expect, they do in fact find a dead body. The natural reaction to this would be to not post the video for its inappropriate and demeaning messages and report the death to authorities, but instead, he continued to film the body and even made jokes while laughing, clearly not taking the situation seriously. Additionally, the body was barley blurred. While Logan Paul’s videos are known for having poor taste, this goes above and beyond anything anyone has ever done on Youtube. Later in the vlog, he ironically notes that there are children outside the forest and they should never have to see anything “like that” while most of his viewers are children around 12 years old or younger. He even put the corpse in the thumbnail, the cover of the video that people see before watching. To make matters worse, Youtube put this video on their trending page, a list that Youtube selects of the most trending and most viewed videos.
Rightfully so, Logan Paul has a lot of backlash from this video. Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad star of no relation to Logan Paul, was one of the first celebrities to make a statement tweeting, “‘How dare you! You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke.” Aaron Paul brings up good points about Logan’s viewers looking up to him. By trapping his young viewers in the illusion of his unrealistic lifestyle with no consequences, Logan Paul has become an idol for so many children. Before he took down this video, it had 600,000 likes proving the influence he has on his audience who frankly does not know any better. Additionally, Youtube did respond deciding “to remove Logan Paul's channels from Google Preferred.” Google Preferred is a tool that advertisers use to find the top youtube channels to sponsor. This will in turn heavily reduce the amount of money he gets from sponsors. While this would be a significant enough measure for nearly any youtuber to force them to stop posting, this will just put a dent in Logan Paul’s empire. Logan will still make an obscene amount of money from Facebook, merchandise, and events.
While Logan did take the video down and apologized, it did not seem sincere. In his apology, he said, “I did not do it for the views.” This is of course extremely hypocritical since he is constantly thinking of worse activities to film to maintain his channel’s growth and he even put a picture of the barely blurred body in the thumbnail to draw views in. This is definitely a first for Youtube and its platform and can be seen as a symbol how where the site has been heading the past year.