Sword & Shield

The Rise & Fall of Logan Paul

Sofia Agusti Cordova, Staff Writer

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From displaying a dead body, to throwing pokeballs at a policeman, Logan Paul has become
the perfect example of what not to do when in Japan. Paul, one of the biggest YouTubers on the platform and has over 16 million subscribers. He first started as a Viner, like many other recent YouTubers, and rapidly grew popular for his humorous and over-the-top videos. His brother, Jake, is also a Viner-turned-YouTuber who is known for his comedic videos.
Logan Paul recently has gone under fire for uploading a controversial video on YouTube that displays a dead body he and his friends discovered in the Aokigahara forest (a.k.a. the “Suicide Forest”). I personally find the video disrespectful to the person who committed suicide and his family. Paul filming the body without consent and entitling the video “Finding a dead body in Japan’s Suicide forest” was completely immature offensive. Considering the young age of his audience group, the video was especially disturbing given its humorous and comedic purpose.
But for me, the issue isn’t just with this one video, it’s with Paul’s behavior during his entire stay in Japan. Paul posted videos of himself being disrespectful towards Japanese people and culture throughout his entire stay. Paul didn’t show any signs of respect for Japanese people, and instead found humor in his disrespect for the culture. He even destroyed an electronic gaming device to “prank” the owner into thinking he sold him a broken device.
“It was really disrespectful,” said Aisha Oliveres, Sophomore, who was born and raised in Japan. “The fact that he felt the need to act so outlandish [to] throw a pokeball at a cop, and you’re supposed to eat squid tentacles, not leave it on the back of someone’s car.”
Despite all the previous Japan vlogs, it wasn’t until a dead body made its way into Paul’s video when the controversy first sparked.
Many YouTubers voiced their opinions, and dozens of videos titled, “Dear Logan Paul” were uploaded within minutes. One particularly upsetting aspect of the whole ordeal was YouTube’s response while the scandal was unrolling. YouTube didn’t even demonetized the video, Paul did so himself, and once they did punish him, they only suspended his ad revenue for two weeks.
This “punishment” was completely unfair compared to how harsh YouTube punishes other, much smaller creators whose videos are a lot less controversial. For example, a YouTube channel named Hetafacts, whose subscribers count is currently over 8,000, got demonetized seconds after uploading a video where in the thumbnail, it contains the word “butt”. Yet, YouTube couldn’t act that fast when their top money-making machine posted a video with a dead body in the thumbnail and the words “dead body” in the title? Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one who noticed as top name brands, such as Adidas and Mars, suspended themselves from advertising on YouTube.
Although, some of Paul’s actions are inexcusable, he is known for his over-the-top videos and perhaps the pressure of constantly having a shock factor in each of his videos clouded his judgment. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been Paul’s first time getting in trouble in a foreign country. In Italy, he was arrested for flying a drone over a restricted area near the Coliseum. After being taken into custody, the Italian police released Paul with a warning and he filmed the whole thing, titling it “Getting arrested in Italy.”
It certainly doesn’t help that Paul has an impressional, young viewer range. His influence on the social media platform is too grand for anyone to end his YouTube empire without some die-hard “LoGang” fans defending him.
Despite all the negative attention he received, Paul came back with even more subscribers and with a “comeback” tour, appearing to have “changed his ways”. With Japan banning him from ever entering the country, to Google yanking Paul from “Google Preferred” and YouTube dropping him from YouTube Red, Paul has faced many consequences for the scandal. And while I believe his actions won’t change, I wish him the best for his success and that this ordeal helps guide him to the right path to becoming a better role model for kids.

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The Rise & Fall of Logan Paul