Logan Paul is back. The YouTube vlogger posted a seven minute video about suicide prevention and awareness on January 24, 2018 It featured a man named Kevin Hines, who when he was 19 years old, jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Throughout the video, it talks about suicide and how large of an influence it actually has in the United States. But, even though this video is trying to promote suicide lifelines and helping those who may be struggling with those dangerous thoughts, people are torn over the fact that this might just be a well time PR video for Logan to bring back his career.
On December 31st 2017, right before the New Year, Paul posted a vlog while in Japan which showed a man who had recently committed suicide in the alleged ‘Suicide Forest’ on the northwest side of Mount Fiji. The video was up for around 24 hours, even hitting the top ten trending list before it was removed from the platform.
The video caused the 22 year old to receive a lot of backlash and the removal from Google Preferred ads, as well as putting his various YouTube projects on hold. Paul issued two apologies for this video, which included a Twitter apology and YouTube video. He later went on a three week hiatus. During that hiatus, his younger brother, Jake Paul, made a video on January 23, which hinted at the fact that Logan would be able to recover his career despite this mistake.
Which brings us to his current video. Though the video has pulled over nine million views in 22 hours, it’s still up for debate whether or not Logan Paul will change his attitude and how he deals with life and others. But is it really all Paul’s fault for his behavior? The answer that first comes to mind might be yes, of course he’s responsible for his behavior, but YouTube isn’t entirely innocent when it comes to the young vlogger. Both Paul brothers have been known for their ‘loud and obnoxious’ videos and personalities, doing pranks to neighbors and just having that wild and reckless behavior in general. YouTube never seems to do anything about it. It seems that the YouTubers are the ‘golden boys’ of the platform and get away with most of the things they do without getting trouble for it.
Now YouTube and the Paul brothers can’t be the only ones getting blamed from this unfairness. The subscribers of both channels are guilty as well. By constantly watching the videos they bringing more revenue to the Paul brothers, giving them more material to make more videos. The subscriber demographic for both channels is as young as eight years old, which makes them very impressionable, and unable to always know or process what the videos are actually doing or what actions they are promoting.
Even with the Suicide Forest video, YouTube allowed the video to be up for a day without adding an age restriction to it, before it was removed. Since the video had been flagged, YouTube had to manually review it to see why it was flagged, and even then, they still kept it available for all ages before it was later taken down. YouTube’s actions against Paul weren’t instantaneous, Google having pushed for a ‘punishment’ if you will first by removing Paul from their Google ad tier program. It took time, but YouTube eventually put a hold on Paul’s programs and stopped his income from the platform. Though, where these late reactions the correct ones to take?
YouTubers are known to make mistakes, whether it’s from things like racist jokes and comments, being inappropriate in general, or plain disrespectful in other countries. The fact that Logan Paul was able to have a video up which showed the body of a man who had committed suicide shows that the platform has issues with the staff. It currently is having people manually view and filter videos now, and the possibility of a video such as Paul’s being posted again is slim to none, but will videos that should have age restrictions or be taken down be left up for anyone to see? YouTube has a very heavy influence over the younger generation and the videos can change the actions of someone if they are of that impressionable age. So should more videos be filtered and have age restrictions? Should certain YouTubers be allowed to post on the platform? It’s a grey area, but YouTube seems like they are trying to make it a safer place for all people, and viewers can only wait and see what the future holds.
If you or someone you love/know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact someone who can help, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). This is available 24 hours every day.