YouTube has released an official statement after popular vlogger Logan Paul posted a video which showed a dead body.
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.
After the tragic discovery – which the crew were obviously going out of their way to find – Logan turns the camera on the body and zooms in as the police are being called.
The video, which wasn’t monetised, was intended to ‘raise awareness for suicide’, he has since claimed.
So as you could probably imagine, Logan has received a huge amount of backlash for his insensitive portrayal of the tragic aftermath of suicide, which has reached the point of epidemic in Japan.
His main social platform, YouTube, has now issued a statement regarding the video, it reads:
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
Logan earlier issued 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.
He also posted a video apology to his 3.1 million followers:
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
When my brother found my sister’s body, he screamed with horror & confusion & grief & tried to save her. That body was a person someone loved.
You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.
— Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana) January 2, 2018
And Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul had this to say:
Dear LoganPaul, 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
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.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) January 2, 2018
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.