Logan Paul’s Misuse of Influence


Sam Deleurme

*Article may be triggering to some readers, contains mentions of suicide

Logan Paul, an internet icon that got famous on an app called vine and switched to YouTube to be a “vlogger” – filming and posting the events of his daily life. Logan has nearly 16 million subscribers, most of which range from the ages of eight to thirteen years old; these kids practically worship the internet personality and hope to follow in his footsteps to be internet famous.

However, on December 31st, of 2017 Logan uploaded a video of him and his friends travelling to Japan and visiting the Aokigahara Suicide Forest near Mt. Fuji. The forest is one of the most popular locations at which people make the choice to end their life, an estimated 100 people a year visit the forest to commit suicide.

Amongst the “Sea of Trees”, hanging is the option of choice for majority of the people that have ended their life there; and Logan Paul just happened to find and film someone who had recently made the decision.

The video that Logan Paul uploaded was deleted by him a day later, but many had already seen it and were furious at the contents, some people had even re-posted the video. I do not advise going and looking for the video if you are sensitive to this kind of material (suicide) and may be triggered by it, the video contains very graphic content that is not suitable for many audiences, let alone the entire internet.

Logan Paul prefaces the video with a disclaiming and warning regarding what is going to be shown, however it barely lasts two seconds to read. Throughout the video Logan will contradict his statements of saying that this is a serious subject, by his actions of joking and laughing throughout the whole ride to the forest, as well as when they are walking through.

His behaviour throughout the whole video is one of the things that the world was so appalled by, but also the audacity he had to go up to a suicide victim who had recently hung themselves, then proceed to joke about it and continue to upload it to the internet.

Around the middle of his vlog, Logan and his friends spot a hanging body in the distance and approach it, despite them calling the authorities to alert of the accident, it does not excuse his attitude. Logan wanted to get a shot with his friend by the body, but they refused, this prompted Logan to ask “What, never stand next to a dead guy?” to which his friend responds “No.” At this, they burst into laughter.

More disrespectful behaviour like this is found all throughout the video, the lack of awareness and respect for those suffering in life to the point that they feel as though they can’t carry on, is what prompted the internet to take immediate action into trying to get the video removed; also attempting to get others to see why what Logan did was wrong.

Upon removal of the video, Logan Paul did upload an apology video in attempts to explain himself. However, there is nothing that would be able to excuse his actions; as a 22-year-old, he shouldn’t need to have millions of people being offended to realize that what he did was wrong. At no point during filming, travelling or editing did it occur to Logan that it is in poor interest to upload such an insensitive video.

Logan Paul has such an immense following, as said earlier most of which are very young children, he has a big platform that could be used to raise awareness for people in need of help. Instead, Logan misused his influence and subjected young minds to horrific things and showing that it is okay to laugh and film these kinds of things.