Logan Paul, while adored by his millions of teenybopper fans, will not escape punishment for his recent actions. While seen as a role model to his viewers despite his immature and impulsive tendencies, Paul made a foolish decision several weeks ago that opened the eyes of many.
Paul, a popular figure on social media, has accumulated a mass following. Before the passing of the app Vine, Paul had accumulated over nine million followers on the platform. Now, having made the switch to YouTube, Paul has over 15 million subscribers to his vlog channel. Paul’s content typically consists of a 15 to 20 minute video of him doing exciting things with his friends.
“I made a promise when I started vlogging to deliver you guys the most entertaining, exhilarating, incredible content ever,” Paul said in a recent video.
While the decision about what is and is not interesting is up to each viewer, it cannot be denied that his recent controversial clickbait has attracted lots of attention.
On his recent trip to Japan, Paul visited Aokigahara forest, nicknamed the suicide forest, with his friends and vlogged the experience. On the hike, they encountered a dead suicide victim hanging from a tree. Paul included this image in his video, only blurring the face of the victim before posting it online. The video has since been taken down and an apology has been posted, but the backlash caused did not disappear as easily. Paul made a grave mistake in posting the video, it was distasteful and offensive especially with the way the group went about reacting.
Upon finding the body Paul and his companions proceeded to laugh and crack jokes. Paul later went on to say that his reaction was “raw and unfiltered ” and that he should have never posted the video adding that he was “ashamed” and promising to “be better.” The apology video was short, just over one minute long, and received over 42 million views. Some believed it seemed very scripted and somewhat unsettling.
“I think it [the apology] was genuine but I think it was genuine because he realized how many people were turning against him,” freshman Rachel Goldberg said. “I don’t think he would have apologized if so many people hadn’t gotten angry at him.”
What is even more upsetting may be that instead of losing subscribers over the incident, he has gained thousands since the posting of the video, especially considering that most of Paul’s fan base consists of young teenagers and children. Knowing that children are looking up to Paul and defending his actions is jarring when taking recent events into account and viewing this immature content.
“He does everything for views and content so he doesn’t really consider the effects his videos have,” sophomore Jada Pallagi said. “I don’t think he realizes who his audience was for that video and how many people were actually going to see it.”
While it is understandable that he, as well as other online creators, make content that attracts viewers as that is their source of income, there is a very fine line that cannot be crossed without consequences. Paul has not posted since January 2 after announcing that he would be taking a break from his social media platforms, has already lost show deals with YouTube and is facing lawsuits with companies affiliated with him.
Photo courtesy of Paul’s YouTube video