WASHINGTON, January 11, 2018: YouTube announced that they are cutting ties with YouTube celebrity Logan Paul. The action was taken after the streaming video star uploaded a video containing graphic footage of a suicide victim hanging from a tree.
As a result of the YouTube action, Logan Paul is losing access to Google’s premium ad program. In addition, he is no longer a part of any YouTube Red projects. A YouTube spokesman says “In light of recent events, we have decided to remove Logan Paul’s channels from Google Preferred.”
The news comes a day after YouTube officials released a letter condemning Logan Paul’s video, which says: Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what’s going on,” “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.”
This is not the first major punishment YouTube has served. Last year YouTube delivered a similar punishment to YouTube sensation PewDiePie, who made Nazi jokes in some of his videos.
This decision by YouTube disavows Logan Paul, who has become one of the channel’s biggest stars. After the release of the video, Paul took to Twitter and issued an apology:
“This is a first for me. I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before. I’m surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I’m still a human being. I can be wrong,”
“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, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought ‘if this video saves just ONE life, it’ll be worth it,’ I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video. I still am.”
The company initially responded with their standard, cookie-cutter response to questionable videos saying the company “prohibits violent or gory content.” This response did not satisfy many people who demanded Paul face consequences for his actions. It took a week for YouTube to issue an official letter and finally tackle the issue of this allegedly offensive video head on.
YouTube is issuing his channel a “strike.” Additionally, they are severing commercial ties with him.
However, politically motivated critics and the usual cadre of internet trolls still don’t believe this is enough. Many apparently believe YouTube needs to remove Paul’s channel permanently, although given the growing proliferation of robot tweets in the Twitterverse, it’s really difficult to say which critics are real and which ones are Memorex.
There is currently a petition posted on Change.org demanding that YouTube to delete Paul’s channel. To date, the petition claims 473,000 signatures, though again that number is difficult to verify.
Paul’s claims that his son plans on returning to his channel but is taking a break for now. For Paul’s fans, however, the next act has become a waiting game to see what this internet personality is planning next. The upshot of the current dispute is for many users and fans to question the way YouTube handles allegedly questionable video uploads. Even as the Logan Paul controversy continues, other YouTubers are uploading videos highlighting live, illegal activities (trespassing and breaking and entering) on the service without any consequence whatsoever.
It’s time that YouTube and other social networking services got serious about establishing real, identifiable and enforceable rules governing their services in such a manner that reasonably good taste prevails, but in such a way that cranks and trolls do not unduly influence what users of such services see or wish to see.