It has been revealed YouTube’s moderators watched and approved the video of an apparent suicide victim posted by star blogger Logan Paul.
This was discovered by volunteers who police the video site, raising questions about YouTube’s ability to censor disturbing content in the way it should.
Members of the ‘trusted flagger’ team, who are a group of volunteers who report unsavoury material, said ‘the video was flagged to YouTube, but that the moderator who reviewed it allowed it to stay online’, writes The Telegraph.
Logan and his crew travelled to Japan, filming themselves venturing through a forest at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, a place which is otherwise known as ‘Suicide Forest’.
During the 15 minute video, the crew came across the body of a man hanging from a tree after the deceased, who remains unidentified, appeared to have killed himself.
The video was actually removed by Logan on Tuesday morning after a huge outcry at the video, which was online for a total of 24 hours and viewed more than six million times.
YouTube has since said the video ‘violates its rules’ but it has not said whether the video was indeed reviewed by a moderator.
Yesterday, YouTube issued a statement regarding the video, which read:
Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video.
YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated.
We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Center.
I just received an official statement from a contact at @Youtube regarding the outrage and controversy around Logan Paul’s (now self-removed) “We found a dead body” top trending Youtube video.
I’ll save my personal comment for later. Just wanted to pass this along. pic.twitter.com/JNTQDMVvT4
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 2, 2018
More than 64,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the 22-year-old’s YouTube channel, which has 15 million subscribers, to be deleted.
The petition page reads:
It’s not about YOU, Logan Paul.
A man who had family and friends chose to end his life, and you chose to share his death to your millions of followers without thinking about how his family/friends felt?
It’s disgusting and shouldn’t be tolerated. But with the power of the internet I think we can get rid of this scumbag once and for all, with your help of signing this petition it could lead to deleting his entire channel!
As well as a video message, Logan posted a written apology on his Twitter account shortly after the backlash.
Dear Internet, where do I begin. Let’s start with this – I’m sorry. This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before. I’m surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I’m still a human being. I can be wrong.
I didn’t do it for views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention.
I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought ‘if this video saves just one life it’ll be worth it’, I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video.
I do this sh*t everyday. I’ve made a 15 minute TV show EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past 460+ days. One may understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the moment without assessing the possible ramifications.
I’m often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have & with great power comes great responsibility… for the first time in my life
I’m regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won’t happen again.
His apology hasn’t been well-received by everybody, with many celebrities and fans suggesting it ‘isn’t enough’.
Game of Thrones actress, Sophie Williams took to Twitter to brand the YouTuber ‘an idiot’.
You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your ‘apology’ is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did.
@LoganPaul You’re an idiot. You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking. I can’t believe how self-praising your “apology” is. You don’t deserve the success (views) you have. I pray to God you never have to experience anything like that man did.
— Sophie Turner (@SophieT) January 2, 2018
And Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul had this to say:
Dear Logan Paul, How dare you! You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell. Ap
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phoneline on 116 132.