The Smoke Signal

Logan Paul: A call for new regulations?

Susan Webb, Page Editor, Online Editor

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Logan Paul, one of the nation’s top youtubers, recently uploaded a video called “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest…”

Paul and his crew were planning on spending the night in the Aokigahara forest (nicknamed Japanese Suicide Forest), when they accidently found a suicide victim. Instead of turning off the cameras, Paul continued to film, later blurring out the face of the victim.

The video received instant backlash as viewers were disgusted with the way Paul handled the situation. Paul later posted an apology video where he admitted that what he did was wrong and expressed his regrets surrounding the entire situation.

The apology video was not enough to account for his misguided actions. He tried to spin the video around as suicide prevention, but disrespecting the body of a suicide victim is not the way to raise awareness.

Many have used this recent controversy as a way to reevaluate the way that YouTube regulates its content.

It took several days for YouTube to come out with a statement responding to Paul’s video. The platform decided to remove Paul from the Google preferred program, put his new originals on hold and they decided not to feature him in “Foursome,” a YouTube red series.

YouTube’s policies prevent users from publishing violent or graphic content, and Paul’s video certainly violated the guidelines laid out in their policy statements. While these regulations are in place, the way YouTube reinforces them is unstandardized.

If any other youtuber were to upload a video similar to Paul’s, their channel would likely be deleted. Paul, however, has nearly 16 million subscribers and brings in a lot of revenue for YouTube.

Instead of YouTube restricting the video or flagging it down, it was Paul himself who ended up taking down the video.

Whenever a video is posted that has content that doesn’t follow YouTube’s policies, YouTube generally demonetizes it. Sometimes, however, demonetization may not be enough.

Paul never monetized his video, but that didn’t prevent millions of people, the majority of which were younger children, from seeing his violent video. Exposing young children to violent and disrespectful content goes against standard moral and ethical codes.

As the world of YouTube becomes more and more competitive, youtubers have to put out shocking, unique and fresh content in order to get more views. Boundaries get pushed, and sometimes the line of what’s right and what’s wrong gets blurred.

 

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Logan Paul: A call for new regulations?