Logan Paul and The Suicide Forest

by Alex Noblecilla

 

Logan Paul is a well known American vlogger and actor who first gained his fame from his use of the former app Vine. After it was discontinued, he went from six seconds on Vine, to about fifteen minutes daily on YouTube, obtaining millions of fans and subscribers.
On December 31st of 2017, social media star, Logan Paul, published what was supposed to be one of his usual daily vlogs on YouTube. This ended up being a triggering and graphic video that was taken in the Aokigahara forest, located near Mount Fuji, in Japan. The forest is highly known for the several suicides committed there in the past. The video showed the moment Logan and his friends found the body of someone who apparently committed suicide. Their reaction, also caught on camera, was completely inappropriate and appalling. Many viewers watched in disbelief as Logan and his friends laughed and even joked about their unexpected encounter while approaching the deceased body.

Internet personality Logan Paul attends the annual Billboard Music Awards held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 21, 2017. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

The famous vlogger received a huge amount of negative feedback, not only from his former fans, but from several celebrities that used social media to spread the word about this controversy and to share their opinions. A comment made by Aaron Paul (not related to Logan) states: “I can’t believe that so many people look up to you”; “Hopefully this latest video woke them up”; “Suicide is not a joke.” Another tweet made by the English actress Sophie Turner includes: “You’re not raising awareness. You’re mocking”. Lauren Duca, an American author, went as far as posting the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on her social media. Her comment proves that this did not just cause a tremendous outrage, but also could have affected many people due to the images shown in the video.

The video was taken down from YouTube about 24 hours later. However, its short life span did little to counteract the strong impact it caused across the internet, or to minimize the harsh criticism he received. This post also caused his YouTube subscribers to drop drastically within hours. Logan started off with a written apology published on his Twitter account. “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”, “I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention” are some of the things that were written in his apology, but it may have caused more negative feedback for the vlogger. Many did not consider it to be sincere or meaningful. He then followed up with an apology video that he uploaded on his YouTube channel. The video seemed to be very emotional and Logan mentioned how he does not expect to be forgiven.

Unfortunately for Logan, it’s going to be extremely challenging to repair the damage of his actions based on the intense condemnation that he’s been getting from the public. However, with his entire career and reputation at stake, we can only expect him to continue his efforts to demonstrate his regret.