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SUICIDE SCANDAL

Logan Paul went too far but did YouTube as well?

Freddy Libby, Assistant Photo Editor

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In one of the most recent videos uploaded to YouTube, vlogger Logan Paul posted a video that contained him and his friends exploring the Japanese forest Aokigahara, commonly known as the Suicide Forest.

While they explore the woods, the video depicts them coming across a dead body and laughing at the scene. The video itself is disturbing in the extreme, and it becomes even more consequential once one takes into consideration the fact that Paul made a conscious decision to upload the video to his sixteen million subscribers.

Logan Paul first rose to fame on the popular social media app Vine and was even ranked as the tenth most influential figure on the app.

After Vine was discontinued, Paul turned to YouTube and used his already substantial follower base to produce a series of vlogs everyday from September 12th, 2016 until his suspension on January 1st of 2018 due to the Japan video.

Apart from Paul’s temporary suspension from YouTube, the company has also discontinued the sequel to his original movie “The Thinning”. The sequel titled “The Thinning: New World Order” was set to be released this year; however, in the wake of Paul’s controversial video, YouTube has decided to put all of Paul’s new original films on hold.

Additionally, Paul will not be featured in the upcoming season of Foursome, a YouTube web series. Although Paul’s vlog may have been the first to strike such a significant chord, YouTube has been criticized multiple times in the past for allowing disturbing footage to go viral.

The company has particularly taken heat for putting ads from well known businesses before these controversial videos. YouTube has lost millions of dollars in revenue from corporations such as Walmart and Verizon who have pulled their ads.

However, after receiving a huge amount of backlash for the Logan Paul video, YouTube seems to be putting their foot down. But is it too harsh? Google recently announced that they would be making it more difficult for users vying to get into the YouTube Partner Program. This program allows aspiring YouTube stars to begin making money off of the ads placed before their videos.

Previously, YouTuber’s channels were only required to have 10,000 views in total, the new measures put in place by Google states that video creators must have at least 1000 subscribers and also a total of 4,000 hours of watch time on their account in the last year to monetize their videos.

This new restriction appears to be a proper response to the incident, until one takes a closer look at it.

These restrictions do absolutely nothing to YouTube personalities that already have made a name for themselves. Meanwhile, these restrictions effectively “punish” lesser known creators, making it unattainable to make some money off of their videos and perhaps even gain fame.

Though taking precautions to prevent more incidents like the Paul video is a necessary change, doing so by keeping up-and-coming creators from making a profit and a career for themselves doesn’t sound like a promising solution.

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