Logan Paul loses premium partnership after controversy
Views rise alongside criticism
Logan Paul has landed himself in deep water after posting a vlog about his trip to Japan. In a video typical of his style, controversy arose after Logan’s trip to Aokigahara—better known as The Suicide Forest of Japan—where he revealed graphic content of a man who had committed suicide. Subsequently, he then calls out to the lifeless body, makes crude jokes, and laughs about the ordeal alongside his friends. The video itself, which received more than 15 million views, was taken down within a day after major backlash weighed down on both YouTube and Paul for what many people think was, “insensitive and disturbing content.”
In response, Paul first took to Twitter to apologize for his actions in what many commenters perceived as insincere and a way to save face. In his apology, Paul uses the phrase, “I get views” to describe how the intent of the vlog wasn’t for the fame or popularity but rather for suicide prevention and awareness. Stating, “…and while I thought if this video saves just one life, it’ll be worth it.” Paul left another tweet saying he will be on hiatus while taking time to reflect. In a YouTube video titled, “So Sorry,” which received 45 million views and was monetized, Paul apologized to the victim’s family, apologized for his actions once again, and described how the video took place in the heat of the moment and how he was unsure how to react to the situation.
For weeks, news outlets across the country reported every detail of the incident involving Paul. Not only did this give Paul a larger platform, but his content continued to get more shares, likes, and views, etc., ultimately giving him more attention and more money.
YouTube, on the other hand, took weeks to respond to the backlash they were receiving. For the company, this was a difficult case because it came down to a matter of deleting Logan Paul’s channel, which many are unsure they have the rights to do, or punishing the creator regarding his business deal with YouTube. In a recent statement, YouTube tweeted, “Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week. Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views.” They later revealed that Paul’s punishment would include the following: a hold on any upcoming projects featuring the popular video blogger, the removal of his video channel from its premium advertising service, and Paul will also no longer be involved in the production of his original works on the YouTube Red subscription service.
What has been more troubling for viewers is YouTube’s new content rights and agreements, where they changed the requirements for what it takes to become a member of the YouTube Partner Program, which splits Google ad revenues with video creators. Now, video makers need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and watch time of 4,000 hours during a 12-month period. Not only does this hurt smaller YouTube channels, but even if these terms were in place, Paul’s video wouldn’t have been affected.
Paul recently told news media that he believes he deserves a second chance, but the YouTuber has yet to upload new content.