OPINION: Toxic YouTuber Logan Paul should be suspended from YouTube


Vanessa Rodriguez

UPDATE: Logan Paul has done it again. Despite immediate backlash from Paul’s Japan YouTube video, he has yet again trashed his reputation within the first three minutes of his newest video, uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 5. In the video, Paul tazed a dead rat and removed a fish from water to performed CPR on it. Not only did Paul receive additional backlash, but a response from YouTube. The platform has revoked Paul’s advertising privaleges; he is no longer able to monitize his videos with ads. As of this update the video is still online at Paul’s YouTube channel.

YouTube sensation Logan Paul has been under fire for weeks following a controversial video in which he disrespects Japanese culture and shows a suicide victim.

Paul posted a controversial vlog on Dec. 31, 2017 where he visited Japan’s Aokigahara, often called the “suicide forest.” His immature and insensitive decision to include footage of a suicide victim in the video resulted in immediate backlash, which led him to remove the video.

Paul began his journey as a trickster Viner who gained a following with his pranks and immature jokes. Due to the platform’s popularity with millennials, Paul’s Vine followers rose to 8.4 million by 2015.

Since Vine has been officially shut down, Paul moved his over-the-top antics to YouTube. His comedic material has gotten more brazen in order to increase his YouTube following.

Vine and YouTube stars like Paul are using their stardom to push the limits of social media. Not only are they harshly pranking others, but also disrespecting and exploiting cultures for more views. Paul’s comedy is not funny and teaches a younger generation that it is acceptable and hilarious to act in a disrespectful way.

During the video, Paul handled this shocking discovery with laughter and jokes which were later claimed to be a coping mechanism from the initial shock of seeing a dead body.

However, this does not excuse his decision to use this scene as the thumbnail for his video, nor does it excuse posting any footage including the dead body. Even with the power of editing, Paul did not have the foresight to leave it out.

Paul purposely posted it for the shock value and for the views.

This is the attitude that most negatively influences his naive youth followers. The prank culture that emphasizes a “do now, forget the consequences” attitude is infectious.

These behaviors can be toxic toward a younger generation because of mimicking. A mother on popsugar.com claims her child started to mimic lingo of popular YouTubers, talking in “tutorial language” (as in the way YouTubers talk in “how to” tutorials) and adding “click to subscribe” at the end of her sentences.

If a child will mimic just the language YouTubers use, what about the disrespectful behavior of those like Paul? Such behaviors can be detrimental to our society.

Paul’s most recent actions raise the question: Where is the line? With the outrageous amounts of money well-known YouTubers make, does that line even exist anymore? Is everything, no matter how terrible, for the benefit of views and money?

Logan Paul released an official statement via YouTube video, apologizing for his insensitive actions. His apology felt unnatural and facade-like with a dash of glossy eyes.

Paul attempted to bounce back with a more serious video and charity pledge about suicide awareness. He attempted to use his royal screw-up as an opportunity to educate his followers using real interviews with suicide survivors, as well as representatives from rehabilitation centers.

It’s a step up on Paul’s part, but it doesn’t totally excuse his overall behavior. Perhaps with such backlash under his belt, he might make a change for the better. Or does his behavior call for a punishment that fits the crime?

Paul should be booted off of his social media platforms and forced to live an average life. With a screw up this big, his videos should be removed from featured popular videos, he should lose his sponsorships and ad-supported content on his channel and his account should be suspended.

Getting rid of his influence could potentially start a snowball effect on other YouTubers who attempt to step out of line when it comes to content and viewer ratings. Making an example out of Logan Paul could be a huge lesson for Youtubers and future creators.

Contact the writer: [email protected]