Logan Paul exploits shock value in latest YouTube stunt


YouTuber Logan Paul films his first apology video for filming a dead body in the “Suicide Forest” in Japan and posting it online, garnering widespread criticism for his insensitivity.

Million dollar fidget spinners, the Uber driver who kidnapped me, tattoo roulette: Shock value as a technique to gain views on YouTube has gone way too far. Recently, the Internet-famous Logan Paul traveled to Japan and created nothing but havoc.

The YouTube star ventured into the Japanese Suicide Forest right before New Year’s. While there, Paul filmed a man who had hanged himself. This footage, accompanied by an uneducated speech on how suicide and depression isn’t healthy, was posted to YouTube under the title, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…” Before realizing that the man is dead, he shouts, “Yo, are you alive?” “Are you f****** with us?” Paul then apologizes for making this vlog no longer a fun one, rather than telling his entourage to stop filming the man. Paul goes on to say that “Suicide is not a joke… Depression and mental illness are not a joke.”

Logan said that he meant this vlog to be used as a platform for suicide awareness. Instead of helping anyone, he only harmed survivors. His common sense must’ve gotten lost in that ego because filming a man that has just committed suicide and showing it to his 9 to 12-year-old demographic doesn’t educate anyone. And for a person who may have already thought about suicide, showing them suicide only triggers them.

The backlash against Logan Paul has been nothing but brutal. Twitter users such as @httpariona have said things such as “suicide is not a way to gain views.”

“It is important to discuss mental illness, suicide awareness, and suicide prevention in a way that can help & educate people. Logan Paul is a disrespectful piece of garbage who further glorified something horrible under the guise ‘there’s help for you.’ Take action, YouTube,” echoed fellow Twitter user @PushinUpRoses.

The filming of the man is pathetic, but his apology is quite piteous too. After taking down the video the next day, he followed with a 1:45 second apology video titled, “So Sorry” with what looks to be no emotion about the situation at all. He stays monotone and the whole apology seems constructed by a publicist to say into the camera and move on.

Avid YouTube viewers have been comparing his apology to another huge YouTube star: Jenna Marbles. Marbles posted a 47 minute video apology all because she put fish in a round tank rather than a rectangular tank, which is unhealthy for fish. The differences in their apologies gave fans a view of what’s to appease and what’s true regret.

Along with many viewers pulling themselves away from the vlogger, so is YouTube. The massive platform recently announced that their web series with the Internet mogul “Foursome” has been retracted because of the footage posted to his channel. YouTube’s premium service YouTube Red also canceled plans to host the show.  The sequel to another YouTube Red project “The Thinning” has been put on halt as a result of the backlash.

To make up for some of the harm he did, he came back with a proper video that advocates for suicide prevention, a video compiling suicide awareness resources and where you can go for help. Along with donating a million dollars of his 14 million dollar worth, he has started to make amends for his grave misjudgment.

Ultimately, Paul just needs to take a break. All this attention needs to die down before he can make a full return. While his recent efforts are a start, he needs more time for reflection in order to fully process the consequences of his actions.