Logan Paul uploaded the most controversial video of 2018, only one day into the year

Katherine Klein, Sports Editor

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Logan Paul is a YouTube superstar. With over 15.7 million subscribers on YouTube, 16.2 million Instagram followers, 16 million Facebook likes, and millions of more followers on other social media sites, this 22 year-old content creator has made a name for himself.

On his recent trip to Japan, Paul decided to visit Aokigahara, more commonly known as the Suicide Forest. This forest is known for visitors experiencing paranormal activity and is the second most popular place for people to kill themselves in the world, after the Golden Gate Bridge. According to Atlas Obscura, “Each year dozens of corpses are found by volunteers who clean the woods, but many are forever lost in the very thick woods. Japanese authorities have discontinued publishing exact suicide numbers in order to avoid making the place even more popular.”

In his video, posted on January 1, now taken down, Logan speaks directly into the camera at the beginning of his video telling his audience about the seriousness of depression and mental health disorders, but once he arrives at the forest his attitude drastically changes. With the intention of sleeping in the forest overnight to see if he can experience any paranormal activity to use as content, Paul walks off the main path and into the woods only to discover someone who had recently hanged themselves.

One would think his initial reaction would be to cut the cameras, call the police and paramedics, and leave the forest, but Paul did not do this at all. Instead, he got closer to the body and continued to film it, showing the dead man’s purple hands and although he blurred out the man’s face and majority of his body, many details were still visible.

These specific shots have caused a world of controversy for Paul and many harassing, accusing, and insulting messages were sent his way about how he handled the situation. Paul’s attempted apology only sparked more outrage when he posted a tweet that included “I didn’t do it for views. I get views.” People’s unsatisfied response to this “half-baked” apology led Paul to further release a minute and 45 second long video, where he continues to apologize for his actions, which again, made people more mad for the brief, “unconvincing” response.

Not only are people outraged at Paul for his decision to film the dead man and his seemingly insincere apology, but they are also targeting YouTube for allowing the video to hit number one on the trending page with over six million views before taking it down. As reported by ABC News, “YouTube acknowledged that it had taken a long time to respond, but said they had been listening to everyone’s comments. The statement also indicated there may be changes in YouTube policies.”

YouTube commented on the situation by posting a tweet that said, “it’s taken us a long time to respond, but we’ve been listening to everything you’ve been saying. We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we’ll have more to share soon on steps we’re taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again.” Hopefully this terrible situation will start a further discussion to change YouTube’s guidelines and stop anything of this magnitude from ever happening again.