YouTube needs to improve their oversight on uploaded content


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Logan Paul receives major backlash online for recording a dead body in Aokigahara.

For years now, people have utilized YouTube as a creative outlet for things such as film, animation, and music. Many of these so-called YouTube celebrities have gained notoriety from this website, and many have gone to become representatives for certain companies, made their own TV shows and gained income from the views they generated through sharing their videos.

In the case of YouTuber Logan Paul, his content has attracted millions of views. But since his most recent video of his trip to Aokigahara in Japan, it was a wakeup call to viewers online how far someone was willing to go in order to continue to contribute sensationalized content.

Aokigahara is a forest that lies northwest of Mount Fuji. It’s an area that’s best known for its caves and dense forestry, but is also known to be a common area for suicide.

The one disturbing thing about the video was Paul’s reaction: he laughs, moves and shouts obnoxiously, and despite his ‘shock’, he continues to get closer to the dead body.

YouTuber Reina Scully, who was raised in Japan, posted a reaction video that received major backlash from Paul’s fans, but made the point very clear: “I honestly think he was sick enough to not only make this video and put it out into the world, but also interact with a dead body that passed during such turmoil and distress. He doesn’t really respect the Japanese as people.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time boundaries have been pushed when it came to content. YouTube account DaddyOFive which was managed by Christopher and Heather Martin got in trouble for child neglect in their videos. Child Protective Services were called and eventually lead the Martins to lose custody over their children, according to The New York Post.  

But for Paul’s video, what was more disturbing was the fact that it took a whopping two weeks for YouTube to notice the video’s violation. In YouTube’s statement via Twitter, “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.”

Many of Paul’s fans find everything to be a blatant misunderstanding, and say that his laughter was all part of a coping mechanism that people do whenever they’re nervous. But the fact of the matter is that this called for a revaluation of ethics.

The moment he planned his trip to Japan for the sake of visiting Aokigahara was already a red flag. If he was truly concerned for the lives of the deceased, he would’ve stopped filming and respected someone’s passing.

But instead, he went through planning, going, editing, and posting and did not think anything was wrong with what he was going to post to his millions of subscribers.  

According to the Aokigahara website, 105 bodies were accounted for in 2003. Because of the high rate of suicide that occurs there, annual body sweeps would be done so that victims can be buried and identified properly.

So, for a comedian like Paul to go into a suicide forest that’s known for such statistics, there was no way he went there for good intentions, such as mental health awareness.

It’s good to know that many people found Logan Paul’s actions to be completely insensitive and are not justifying his behavior. Yes, people make mistakes, we are all human. But it’s the Internet: it’s the worst place to mess up to begin with, and your mistakes will follow you for the rest of your life.