“Dear Internet,”
January 3, 2018 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Logan Paul, and the toxic YouTube prank culture that created him, explained [Vox] “YouTube star Logan Paul, a popular vlogger from a family of popular vloggers, drew a massive backlash on Monday and Tuesday for posting a video showing a dead body he stumbled upon in Japan's notorious "suicide forest." The video, which Paul uploaded on December 31 and ultimately deleted late on January 1, chronicles a visit by Paul and a few companions to Aokigahara Forest, located on the northwestern side of Mt. Fuji. Upon seeing the body, Paul calls out, “Yo, are you alive?” and then, “Are you fucking with us?” He then continues to film his reaction to the discovery, complete with laughter and joking, which he later explains is his way of trying to cope with the shock of the situation.”

• Logan Paul, YouTube Star, Says Posting Video of Dead Body Was ‘Misguided’ [The New York Times]
“A YouTube star with millions of followers apologized on Monday for posting a video that showed a dead body hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest known as a destination for suicide victims. Logan Paul, 22, posted an apology on Twitter after the video attracted a torrent of criticism online, saying that he had published it in an attempt to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. “I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video,” he said. “I still am.” In another video, posted on Tuesday, Mr. Paul again apologized, this time specifically to the dead man and his family. He also asked his fans to stop defending him. “I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down,” he said. The original video, which has since been removed from YouTube but is available elsewhere online, begins with Mr. Paul warning viewers that the following footage is graphic.”
• YouTube can't contain Logan Paul's video because YouTubers know the rules [The Verge]
“Although YouTube may want to erase the Paul nightmare from its site, YouTubers know the company's rules and can subvert the system. With the body censored, YouTube either has to find a new violation of its guidelines or treat re-uploads as a copyright issue — but Paul doesn't seem to care if people repost his work. Paul could have filed a claim with Content ID to get his video removed from other channels. Every new upload to YouTube is cross-referenced with the Content ID database, and if a video matches, the original owner can decide to take it down (or monetize it). It’s possible that Paul doesn’t have access to Content ID or that tweaked versions of the video are avoiding detection. But so far, it’s clear that YouTube isn’t able to remove the video just because it belongs to someone else: takedowns of full re-uploads that show the body cite a violation of YouTube's policies, not copyright.”
• Logan Paul proves YouTube needs to take responsibility for top creators — and punish them [Polygon]
“YouTube isn’t going to implode, but its creators are beginning to revolt. The rules don’t apply to everyone and, in the wake of 2017’s demonetization controversies, its creators are waiting to see if YouTube will ever take action for what occurs on its platforms. In December, YouTube announced it was hiring 10,000 moderators to help flag offensive content and disturbing videos that could put many of its younger viewers at risk of watching traumatizing footage. “In order to protect creators and advertisers alike, we're taking aggressive action using a combination of machine learning and people to take action on this content through age-gating, demonetization and even the removal of channels where necessary,” Wojcicki said, adding that additional manual curation will be applied. Curating videos is one thing; curating the top creators who dominate the platform, and upholding or implementing stricter guidelines, is what YouTube needs to be doing now, before it’s too late. YouTube is at a tipping point, and only its executives have the power to stop it from falling off the cliff into a sea of grotesque madness. ”
• Logan Paul, YouTube, and the 24% Rise of Suicide in America [Paste]
“This story illustrates in a profound and terrible way the real-world effects of the major decentralizing shift our entertainment culture has gone through over the last decade. I’m writing here specifically of the entertainment culture that targets and serves younger demographics, between say 10 and 22 years old. This story highlights better than most the fact that this entertainment culture is no longer trying to define itself but is firmly defined. It also makes clear who’s responsible for that culture, and what it, and they, value. More importantly, it illustrates what we—especially a certain slice of the generation who has grown up through this shift—tend to value, which is all too often brainless, self-serving doucheríe of the highest caliber. This has always been true of entertainment culture, though, and on the surface my complaints are nothing new.
• Logan Paul and YouTube’s Great Responsibility [The Ringer]
“Only YouTube could’ve afforded Logan Paul the room to make such a grotesque mistake on such a massive scale. Paul shares his videos with more than 15 million subscribers on the most popular video platform in the world. On YouTube, widely followed web stars such as Paul vlog obsessively, they speak freely, and they run wild. Instagram stars control their own image with meticulous curation through images and tight captions. Twitter personalities are more verbose, and they’re also knee-deep in the verbosity of others. Twitter is a crowded, public space where some murmurs, and some voices, happen to ring louder than others. But YouTube is bigger and richer, and its discourse flows much less democratically from power users to your average viewers; the stakes are higher and the content is far more profitable. YouTube stardom is a superior echelon where personalities produce high-quality videos that earn high-dollar ad revenue and sponsorship deals. Per a Forbes estimate, Paul’s antics generated more than $11 million in revenue last year.”
• The Decent Human Being’s Guide to Logan Paul [Slate]
“Jake Paul has 12.7 million YouTube subscribers to older brother Logan’s 15.2 million. (They’re worldwide, too, with legions of fans in places as far-flung as Dubai, where Logan hosted what he claimed was the largest meetup ever.) Whereas Logan fans are part of the “Logang,” Jake fans are known collectively as “Jake Paulers,” and there’s a helpful video to watch to figure out if you are one. The two originally rose to prominence on Vine, the now-defunct platform for 6-second videos. Both have done some acting and music (Jake’s rap, “It’s Everyday, Bro,” is one of YouTube’s all-time most-disliked videos) but remain best known for their vlogs and prank videos à la Jackass and Punk’d. Jake has said that while Logan is focused on being an entertainer, he aspires to moguldom. To that end, he commands his own talent company/squad of influencers/extended universe known as Team 10. One of its members is a first-grader. . For more anecdotal evidence of their reach with young fans, who tend to be tweens of both genders, look at what happened when Jake Paul recently hosted a pop-up shop in New York: Fans waited outside for hours with their weary parents, eager to spout catchphrases from videos, build their own vlogging chops, and spend hundreds of dollars on merch.”
• MetaFilter's ThereIsHelp [wiki]
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posted by Fizz (97 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Logan Paul previously.
posted by Fizz at 1:20 PM on January 3


Good, start with this guy.
posted by Sphinx at 1:37 PM on January 3


The most thoughtful twitter thread on this topic/aokigahari I've run across is this one by @flavordays

It speaks, respectfully, about the beauty and sadness of aokigahari forest, helping people understand the context that Logan Paul planned/made/edited/posted his thoughtless video.

"there are several signs along the main trail pleading with hikers to consider their loved ones before they take their lives and to stay on the path, bc Japanese officials are more than aware of the problem. there are decades of remains just off the trail and they're hard to miss" --flavordays
posted by dreamling at 1:41 PM on January 3 [33 favorites]


I didn't know who Logan Paul was, but all the hubbub drove me to find the video. It made me realize three things. First, I'm out of touch with youngins. Second, watching so many 9/11 videos as a 10 year old likely was not great for my psyche. Third, however much shit Twitter gets for its moderation, Google/YouTube are even less accountable and responsive.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 1:47 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Reading about guys like this and Soundcloud rappers like 6IX9INE is I guess the closest I'll ever get to understanding what old people thought of Elvis in 1956.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:49 PM on January 3 [31 favorites]


I know making generalizations about the youths is kind of shitty, but it really does seem like YouTube and social media culture encourage and reward the development of narcissistic and sociopathic traits. I know there are millions of kids who have found community online, and who have found themselves through those communities, but this other side...

This constant performance, where the world is just made of props for your vlog or your Instagram post or whatthefuckever...

This is a dark, dark thing.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:49 PM on January 3 [70 favorites]


Or, put another way: the unreality of social interaction in the modern age is concerning. And I know panic about the new thing the youths are doing is par for the course, but sometimes the things they’re doing are actually terrible.

It seems like having so much of your social interaction mediated by screens would have some developmental effects that are...not great.
posted by schadenfrau at 1:52 PM on January 3 [13 favorites]


If this dude looks familiar, he was irritating everyone on FanFare with his appearance on Top Chef a couple of weeks ago.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:55 PM on January 3 [6 favorites]


Google/YouTube are even less accountable and responsive.

Yup, YouTube has been a problem and not just for adults, for kids too.

• Inside Elsagate, the conspiracy-fueled war on creepy YouTube kids videos [The Verge]
“In June, a moderator from a little known subreddit who goes by TheLocalGamer decided to sound the alarm on something strange he was seeing across YouTube. The title of the post was simple: “I think it’s time more people knew about Elsagate.” “Elsagate is a conspiracy in the works, being hosted on YouTube,” TheLocalGamer wrote. At the time, r/ElsaGate had just a handful of subscribers and even fewer true believers. But TheLocalGamer proceeded to lay out the problem, hiding in plain sight on some of YouTube’s most popular children’s channels: creators were drawing children in with familiar characters — most notably Elsa from Frozen, but also Spider-Man and the Joker — then arranging them in bizarre situations involving cheating spouses or public urination. Digging deeper, the mod said he had seen videos with innocent thumbnails that clicked through to “videos of children giving handjobs to old men” and other depravity. He didn’t know who was responsible, but he knew something was wrong. ”
posted by Fizz at 1:57 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


I'm very out of touch with YouTube-esque culture, but I can't help but see (what I believe to be) parallels in sports commentary and how many folks (especially middle-aged white guys in business) often try to commentate on their thoughts and feelings about something as they experience it. It seems to me that this doesn't allow any time to actually process the experience, significantly diminishing it. Even if it's just going over a technical problem, immediate commentary seems to get in the way of some understanding.
posted by c0nsumer at 1:59 PM on January 3


It seems like having so much of your social interaction mediated by screens would have some developmental effects that are...not great.

I predict a steep lack of empathy, poor social skills, and just plain meanness in our future. now.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 2:03 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


I only heard of Logan Paul from that Top Chef appearance. Where he distinguished himself with his ignorance. I found him really distracting because he looks totally like 70s porn star Peter Berlin and it's sort of breathtaking. Or as an unkind Redditor said, he's Dollar Store Owen Wilson.
posted by Nelson at 2:06 PM on January 3 [13 favorites]


Huh. My son watched Jake/Logan Paul fairly often. I watched a few videos and chalked it up as just tweenbait garbage but nothing harmful. I may have to rethink. He's 11.
posted by sotonohito at 2:07 PM on January 3 [7 favorites]


man, that bit about labeling Paul as one of those young white guys who do all of the really stupid, horrible pranks on unsuspecting strangers really makes me mad. of all the things to spin out of young people borrowing motifs from shows like America's Funniest Home Videos / Candid Camera / Jackass, being a horrible piece of shit to strangers just so you can get Vine/Youtube views is probably the worst of the worst

there's a lot of funny, genuine, heartwarming stuff that comes out of Vine and Youtube - stuff that you don't, at first, realize is normalizing marginalized voices until you pull back and compare it to modern TV/movies. but that normalization cuts both ways, too: "YouTube’s deep culture of veneration among fans creates an insular, often accountability-proof bubble around its biggest stars (see also: PewDiePie)" is right. on the one hand, you can have wonderful people like Emily Graslie who practice self-accountability but more common are the people who are just there to make money, and arguing that you allowing the good people on your platform to produce content is sufficient cover for all of those other really terrible people is technolibertarian handwashing at its finest

Youtube isn't just a platform - it has its own myriad subcultures, millions of humans engaging with it - all of whom will now internalize and normalize the attitudes and behaviors of the people they watch. seeing these spaces and this cultural tool you've helped to create as trifling parts of the real work of building more server racks and a pathway to monetization is dishonest, unethical, and naive - the same argument applies for reddit hosting white supremacists, GoDaddy servicing Stormfront for decades, and moot allowing 4chan to turn into the cesspool that it is and then being hired by Google as the reward
posted by runt at 2:07 PM on January 3 [13 favorites]


Third, however much shit Twitter gets for its moderation, Google/YouTube are even less accountable and responsive.

I think this is probably true, and made worse because while YouTube has a whole bunch of prominent personalities on the scale from Video Game Screaming with Occasional Racism all the way to Open White Nationalists Proudly Promoting Genocide, the other side of the political spectrum goes from Genial Person's Largely Apolitical Pop Culture Thoughts to White Guy Clowning on the Nazi Sympathizers. At least Twitter, as much of a sewer as it often is, has a number of liberal and left-wing voices with large followings and much more diversity than the relatively meager equivalent on YouTube.
posted by Copronymus at 2:12 PM on January 3 [7 favorites]


I only heard of Logan Paul from that Top Chef appearance. Where he distinguished himself with his ignorance.

I only discovered him because of this current suicide/video incident. And in the course of making this post, finding out that he has 15.2 million subscribers... it hurts my brain.

Though I guess subscribing to something doesn't mean you actively engage with it. I have a fair number of YouTube subscriptions that I barely look at. When I head to YouTube, I'll see things featured that I've subscribed to, new posts, updates, etc. But that doesn't necessarily equate to my interacting with that thing or guarantee that I'll click on the video and watch it.

Still, it speaks to the fact that Logan Paul has a very large audience online. And I'm sure he's making a ton of money off of advertisements/sponsors. Ugh.
posted by Fizz at 2:12 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Logan Paul previously.


Me on Logan Paul 2.5 years ago comparing him to others trying to make it big in L.A. and his Vine celebrity: "He'll be fine in 10 years or he won't, but he won't be different from thousands of other 30 year old dudes whose name we will or won't know by that point."

As I did with many things in 2015, I truly underestimated people's ability to be shitty.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:15 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


I've heard of him back when he was a Vine star. Then I noticed in 2016 that he was starring in a weird YouTube produced film about a future dystopia where 'dumb' people are euthanized. I'm not joking about the film.
posted by FJT at 2:18 PM on January 3


Reading about guys like this and Soundcloud rappers like 6IX9INE is I guess the closest I'll ever get to understanding what old people thought of Elvis in 1956.

I fukken love vine compilations and can quote you a dozen memes right now so it's not old ppl hating him. also, he's nowhere near internet famous enough to be internet Elvis - John Green makes a better argument for that title and he's pretty much the polar opposite of this sha-theed in terms of accountability
posted by runt at 2:21 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


a weird YouTube produced film about a future dystopia where 'dumb' people are euthanized. I'm not joking about the film.

I said it consistently throughout 2017 and it looks like I'll keep on saying it in 2018. There is no more satire. We are living inside of a The Onion article.

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 2:21 PM on January 3 [12 favorites]


I read on Twitter that he's also monetized his "apology" video, although I don't know if this is true because nothing could make me actually watch his videos. What an absolutely shitty human being.
posted by chococat at 2:33 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Having no gatekeepers is awesome LOL!!!!1!!!
posted by photoslob at 2:53 PM on January 3


I'm so glad this guy is a Literally Who for me. Social media continues to prove itself to be a factory for producing utter shit or Nazis.

And the worst thing is, he's already won. As noted above, he gets money from his apology. He gets money from the increased attention this brings. Unless YouTube steps in, this incident just leaves him more famous and richer. His fans will just close ranks and become louder and stupider.

Sometimes it really is the children who are wrong.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:56 PM on January 3 [10 favorites]


YouTube is at a tipping point, and only its executives have the power to stop it from falling off the cliff into a sea of grotesque madness.

Its executives may have the power to pull it back, but it's already well into the sea.

The only chance for YT to actually divert itself back towards "a platform where you can post fun, education, or interesting videos, and maybe make money off them" and away from "pit of ultimate depravity that doesn't quite break laws" is if they start throwing the banhammer madly, and using the TOS violation for "other offensive content" as a reason. In other words, they'll have to destroy an awful lot of YouTube culture, which will drive several of their high-value regulars to other venues.

Currently, there aren't any great other options - Vimeo is limited, and nothing else has good video hosting options. But if YouTube's stranglehold is broken, that'll change.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:02 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Back in the 80s I was in Bermuda at a dock with a couple of other kids my age (tween) and a drunk guy fell into the water and was floating face-down, not moving. He looked dead. I was aghast. The other two kids were yelling "LOOK, A STIFF! CALL THE MEATWAGON!" and laughing.

Lots of people have zero empathy.
posted by grumpybear69 at 3:04 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Do people have Logan Paul mixed up with Aaron Paul or does Logan Paul try to promote some kind of fake connection? Never heard of Logan Paul before this morning, and all the lead stories were about Aaron Paul ripping him a new one on Twitter.
posted by lagomorphius at 3:09 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Having not seen the video, honest question: are the people who arrive on the scene and see someone hanging not responsible for cutting him down and checking for a pulse, and starting CPR if they know how? Cracking jokes or not seems rather beside the point if you are not attempting any sort of rescue.
posted by TreeRooster at 3:40 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I'M SICK OF THIS DARK MIRROR EPISODE. MAKE IT STOP.
posted by el io at 3:47 PM on January 3 [17 favorites]


I know making generalizations about the youths is kind of shitty, but it really does seem like YouTube and social media culture encourage and reward the development of narcissistic and sociopathic traits.

In any competitive society these traits are selected for - they're how you "get ahead."

As for the creator, there is nothing new here either. The only difference now is the metaphorical checks get cashed in public.
posted by MillMan at 3:53 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Reading about guys like this and Soundcloud rappers like 6IX9INE is I guess the closest I'll ever get to understanding what old people thought of Elvis in 1956.

Oh please don't compare this jackass to Elvis. The comparison between John Green and Elvis, sure, I can abide.

This guy, he's the epitome of writer Sarah Hagi's celebrated imperative: "Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man."
posted by Borborygmus at 4:04 PM on January 3 [9 favorites]


Broke: Committing suicide due to underlying capitalist conditions.
Woke: Being exploited in your death by capitalism.
posted by bookman117 at 4:05 PM on January 3 [14 favorites]


TreeRooster: "Having not seen the video, honest question"

The man is very clearly dead. They are accompanied by a Japanese guide who calls for an ambulance right after they find him.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 4:22 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I vote a 10 year moratorium on Logan Paul.
Also a 10 year moratorium on YouTube.
Also social media.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:32 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


so, i haven't seen the video, but it sounds to me like the guide was treating this with the seriousness it deserved and what's his name is just treating it like it's a big fucking joke?

what's japanese for, "goddamnit, that boy just ain't right?"
posted by pyramid termite at 4:53 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


I honestly am not going to fault anyone for their reaction when they come upon a dead body. Most people don't know how to process that, and people react in all sorts of inappropriate ways. I blame him a lot for posting the video, though. That was a considered choice, not an insensitive immediate reaction.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:00 PM on January 3 [20 favorites]


This guy isn't exactly Werner Herzog, there's a 0% chance they had any intention of treating the suicide forest and anything they encountered within with respect from the point they decided to go there. It's like deciding that's a good place to film an episode of Jackass.

The sooner this juvenile 4chan-style edgelord shit dries up and blows away the better, and shame on Youtube/Google for providing fertile ground for these garbage seeds to put down roots.
posted by Feyala at 5:19 PM on January 3 [41 favorites]


Couple months ago, I was on a tour of the desert outside Dubai and this Logan Paul doofus was on the same tour. Most of the tourgoers had no idea who he was and neither did I at the time, but when this idiot started shouting dumb comments to the tour guides and had a guy running around with a camera, word spread in hushed tones that he was "some kind of youtube star".

Everyone on the tour were seated to watch a falconry demonstration, and as the falcon handler gave his sincere talk about the history of falconry and the local Bedouins, Paul shouted stupid comments just to get reactions from people. We were all looking at each other like, who is this rude jerk? Felt bad for the falconry guy who was just trying to do his job.

For what it's worth everyone else on the tour seemed to shun him.
posted by thebordella at 5:21 PM on January 3 [47 favorites]


This is how people get famous now, I guess.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:30 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I am so glad I am not responsible for raising children at this point in my life. I have a grandson who just turned 11, his brother is 8 and I just realized there is a very good chance he knows who this guy is. If I find out he saw this video...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:35 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Yes policing online activity and games etc. sounds like a terrible pain in the ass, but one you cannot opt out of.
posted by thelonius at 5:47 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


My children are twelve, and consider Jake Paul to be a "garbage human" because of his real-world behavior (and don't even know who his brother is), so at least there's hope for some of the young folks out there.

Then again, they want their own YouTube channel, and I fear what they'd become if they started chasing likes and revenue...
posted by davejay at 5:55 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


Has the Disney Channel commented on this yet? These are the two losers they cast on one of their shows bizaardvark and I really hope they regret employing them even more now
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:03 PM on January 3


This seems like a good place to call attention to my favourite Chrome extension: Youtube Video Blocker. Install it, right click a video from a channel you find objectionable, click "Block videos from this channel."

Why isn't this feature baked into YouTube?
posted by Evstar at 6:12 PM on January 3 [21 favorites]


Has the Disney Channel commented on this yet? These are the two losers they cast on one of their shows bizaardvark and I really hope they regret employing them even more now

Disney only cast one of them, Jake (the other one), and they booted him off the show last summer, right around the time he was turning his Los Angeles neighborhood into "a warzone" with his terrible parties and terrible fans.
posted by mhum at 6:14 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Talking about how the world is a dystopia and people should be euthanized seems not great considering the subject this is actually about here and the potential triggers of the people most at risk.

Feels worth linking to some resources for people who can't for reasons of personal safety or preference use more traditional hotlines etc: here and here.

That said, fuck this guy.
posted by colorblock sock at 6:20 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I think this is probably true, and made worse because while YouTube has a whole bunch of prominent personalities on the scale from Video Game Screaming with Occasional Racism all the way to Open White Nationalists Proudly Promoting Genocide, the other side of the political spectrum goes from Genial Person's Largely Apolitical Pop Culture Thoughts to White Guy Clowning on the Nazi Sympathizers. At least Twitter, as much of a sewer as it often is, has a number of liberal and left-wing voices with large followings and much more diversity than the relatively meager equivalent on YouTube.

I've said before that YT is the only one of the major social media sites that actually worries me, because it has all this outright right-wing shit in a place where kids go. I don't know why the Left can't do YouTube, but we sure don't seem to have the same presence.
posted by atoxyl at 6:36 PM on January 3 [8 favorites]


The Paul bros. seem crass an exploitative but mostly in a way that extends things TV has already been doing for a while - the only thing that truly concerns me about their cohort in particular over Jackass or reality TV or the 90s version of the WWF/WWE is that performers and audience both seem to skew younger and younger.
posted by atoxyl at 6:40 PM on January 3 [4 favorites]


If You're Not the Customer, You're the Product: Child Labor Edition
posted by rhizome at 7:17 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


> GenjiandProust:
"I vote a 10 year moratorium on Logan Paul.
Also a 10 year moratorium on YouTube.
Also social media."


Sorry, can't do the moratorium on YT. Your Eveil Twin (a perfectly charming British Ghostbusters cosplayer and nice guy) still hasn't finished his Quantum Break LP. (YET specializes in LPing games that deal with time travel.)

Also, I only have known about Logan Paul due to an article somewhere about the single apartment complex in California that is lived in by MANY ex-Viners.

Also, this is the same problem with so sadly many child/youth stars. They get money and little or no responsibility. Then they need more money...
posted by Samizdata at 7:17 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


(P.S. Having never watched a Logan Paul video (except a snippet of this video earlier today), I am down for THAT moratorium.)
posted by Samizdata at 7:18 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


This MAN (not ‘kid’, as YouTube bills him) is twenty-two fucking years old. And he’s running round suicide sites in foreign countries wearing a hat with cartoon ears and posting footage of dead people on the internet. This is his ‘job’.

I had never heard of this loser before, and was expecting maybe a 15-year-old on holiday with his parents.

It’s unfathomable to me, and actually makes me glad to be in my 40s. What the hell is happening to modern adulthood?
posted by Salamander at 7:21 PM on January 3 [10 favorites]


If you do something as a joke, you're still doing it for real.

Every person - and collectively, every generation - comes to understand that at their own time and pace.

It's just such a tremendous sadness that this has to happen in front of millions of people, and with so many people's tragic heartache at the center of this dummies' personal journey toward adulthood.
posted by chinese_fashion at 7:45 PM on January 3 [16 favorites]


I live in Japan and today is the one year anniversary of a friend's suicide.

I hope no one watches the video in question. I think one needs to see it to comment on it, because they had no right to take the video, and we have no right to watch it.

It's bad enough that this person's friends and family have to suffer their loss. That in itself is a nightmare scenario. Broadcasting the scene of that tragedy narrated by some jackass in a stupid hat to a wide swath of the internet is unforgivable.

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook make me so sick lately. Literally, I guess, writing this is making me nauseous. I wish there was something I could do.
posted by sacchan at 7:47 PM on January 3 [17 favorites]


this dummies' personal journey toward adulthood
assumes facts not in evidence
posted by thelonius at 7:50 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how true this is, but it seems that Logan's next film has hit a snag due to his douchebaggery. A redditor tells the tale.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:59 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


As someone who laughs when they're uncomfortable and desperately wants to have any other reaction (yet another way I'm unlike Logan?) I can't get onboard with yelling at him for how he reacts in the moment. But the decision to post the video and the totally insincere non-apology, that I can get behind yelling about. I hope the family of whoever it was they found won't have to suffer any additional grief about this. Whoever they found, I hope they found some measure of rest.
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 8:26 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Chalk me up as someone else who had never heard of this guy before today. And, from what little I have unwillingly learned about him, he certainly deserves all the hate. But any Kids-these-Daysing surrounding this is just that: KtDing.

Social media didn't create this kind of asshole. They have always existed, and they have always enjoyed a certain amount of success.

In fact, if the net is that he ends up wealthy and universally reviled as a result of being a morally bankrupt narcissistic asshole, it's arguably a step up from the recent times when people merely got wealthy by being morally bankrupt narcissistic assholes.
posted by 256 at 9:20 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


> Samizdata:
"> GenjiandProust:
"I vote a 10 year moratorium on Logan Paul.
Also a 10 year moratorium on YouTube.
Also social media."

Sorry, can't do the moratorium on YT. Your Eveil Twin (a perfectly charming British Ghostbusters cosplayer and nice guy) still hasn't finished his Quantum Break LP. (YET specializes in LPing games that deal with time travel.)

Also, I only have known about Logan Paul due to an article somewhere about the single apartment complex in California that is lived in by MANY ex-Viners.

Also, this is the same problem with so sadly many child/youth stars. They get money and little or no responsibility. Then they need more money..."


That's "Your Evil Twin" even.
posted by Samizdata at 9:40 PM on January 3


In fact, if the net is that he ends up wealthy and universally reviled as a result of being a morally bankrupt narcissistic asshole, it's arguably a step up from the recent times when people merely got wealthy by being morally bankrupt narcissistic assholes.

Yeah, but now they can just get rich off youtube, the bar used to be higher - they had to get MBAs first.
posted by el io at 10:11 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


> el io:
"In fact, if the net is that he ends up wealthy and universally reviled as a result of being a morally bankrupt narcissistic asshole, it's arguably a step up from the recent times when people merely got wealthy by being morally bankrupt narcissistic assholes.

Yeah, but now they can just get rich off youtube, the bar used to be higher - they had to get MBAs first."


Or, you know, marry into/inherit wealth.
posted by Samizdata at 10:14 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Apologies if this is repetitive (didn’t read all comments here) but there is no way this guy went to film at the famed SUICIDE FOREST without hoping he’d get the opportunity to do exactly what he did. Disgusting.
posted by sfkiddo at 11:16 PM on January 3 [18 favorites]


I don't know why the Left can't do YouTube, but we sure don't seem to have the same presence.

Death threats and harassment, most likely. People can "both sides" all they want, but the trend of violence in thought and deed is fairly consistent.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:48 PM on January 3 [17 favorites]


If you read the info about the forest which was posted early in this thread it is crystal-clear and obvious that he went to that forest knowing what he’d find. It is not an obscure secret that there are many bodies there, and he hired a guide who would explain as well.

I don’t think I could control my reaction to finding a body but there’s no way I’d go to a place known as a suicide forest with a camera and some buddies and film it in the first place. He already knew he was going to monetise this before he even got there.
posted by harriet vane at 1:21 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


How are more people not mentioning the hat. It says so much.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:30 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


This guy is a loser who without question deserves to be reviled and I will not watch his video, but I have to defend youtube a little bit here. I've spent many happy hours watching old bbc documentaries (like the one about Kate Bush that was a recent FPP), not to mention subscribing to two youtubers I found out about right here on metafilter: the hilarious Sailor J and the brilliant ContraPoints.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:32 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


> How are more people not mentioning the hat. It says so much.

"In death, one does not expect to be respected by a dudebro in a cartoon hat."

—Old Words of Wisdom that everyone immediately knew by heart, as if, when this video was posted, that phrase spontaneously sprung up far away in the past to be passed on in lore.
posted by wwwwolf at 5:41 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Bless his heart
posted by mumblelard at 5:59 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I really fucking hate Logan Paul. A tiny bit because I'm 34 and my name is Logan and that used to be cool 'cause x-men and late 70s sci-fi but NOPE he's kind of fucked that all to hell.

RE: the suicide forest video, there's no way in hell I'm watching that thing. I have no idea who this True Geordie fellow is but someone linked his "reaction video" and he pretty nicely nails my feelings on this bullshit. I hope True Geordie is a good person too because I do appreciate seeing big strong muscly scary looking men cry on camera and be sincere about their emotions, that's good modeling right there.

Also, Logan Paul did a "parody" version (which I will not link) of the song No Handlebars by Flobots that you may or may not remember from ~ 2008 and changed a song with a point to some banal misogynistic bullshit. Flobots posted a response that's def worth the click.

In conclusion, Logan Paul can fuck off and I hope his shit gets banned from YT forever. Also I still like that Flobots song.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:46 AM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Sometimes it really is the children who are wrong.

Logan is 22 years old, and all the worst shitlords of social media - Richard Spencer, Milo, Andrew Anglin et al - are in their 30s. Shit, Stefan Molyneux is in his 50s.

Leave the children out of this.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:11 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


> In conclusion, Logan Paul can fuck off and I hope his shit gets banned from YT forever.

The only winning move is not to watch, but he can't lose because once these social media idiots get past a certain level of exposure they're like a Katamari Damacy of attention.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:33 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


I don't like to wish violence on anyone, but sometimes you see an asshole in a stupid hat and wonder if humility be punched into a person.
posted by dazed_one at 8:46 AM on January 4


I don't like to wish violence on anyone, but sometimes you see an asshole in a stupid hat and wonder if humility be punched into a person.

Given the trajectory of a lot of Youtubers, he'll do something Nazi-adjacent, at which time punching is perfectly acceptable.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:04 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Death threats and harassment, most likely. People can "both sides" all they want, but the trend of violence in thought and deed is fairly consistent.

Oh definitely but does that happen on YouTube more than it does everywhere else? Because I'm talking about the political balance being particularly skewed on YouTube compared to, say, Twitter.

(I suspect right-wing social media figures themselves get a fair amount of harrassment from - different factions of - "their [general] side," actually. I know parts of the alt-right really hate the women of the alt-right.)
posted by atoxyl at 9:16 AM on January 4


but he can't lose because once these social media idiots

Sadly, he'll probably get more subscriptions with this media attention and profit by the time things settle down.
posted by Fizz at 10:02 AM on January 4


Given the trajectory of a lot of Youtubers, he'll do something Nazi-adjacent, at which time punching is perfectly acceptable.

ok, no insinuation of physical violence here but like yeah, that'd be par for the course considering Laci Green
posted by runt at 10:42 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


A couple of updates:

A late Jan 3 tweet from him states that he is "taking time to reflect." May he not come back until he grows the hell up.

This article about some of his other behaviour in Japan shares some of his teeth-grindingly insensitive activity there - and translates some of the Japanese YouTube comments on the video.
posted by dendritejungle at 10:48 AM on January 4


Oh definitely but does that happen on YouTube more than it does everywhere else? Because I'm talking about the political balance being particularly skewed on YouTube compared to, say, Twitter.

There is a reason that "youtube comments" has practically become Internet shorthand for the absolute worst that humanity has to offer.

(I gather the moderation tools are... somewhat lacking, as well as the sheer volume often being an issue)
posted by Dysk at 10:57 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Just thinking, I think the Antarctic needs proper video coverage as per the worries about climate change. He is an experienced video producer that worries deeply about his production schedule... 🤔
posted by Samizdata at 10:59 AM on January 4


I gather the moderation tools are... somewhat lacking, as well as the sheer volume often being an issue

I'm not sure if they're still doing this, but for a while, comments got put up top based on how many replies they had - so the worst sexist racist sludge rose to the top because it had hundreds of people replying to it in anger.

When G+ and YouTube accounts merged, anyone who wanted anonymity gave up on commenting on YouTube. Also, with no anon comments, video posters couldn't just screen or block anon comments - they had to either set up specific filters (which, as you say, were limited) or allow "anything goes."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:21 AM on January 4


I liked Gallagher when I was a kid, so I understand not having a fully-developed sense of humor. I also have "been around the block a few times," so I know what being 22 is like. However, at that age my worst years were still ahead of me.

The moral of this story? I no longer liked Gallagher when I was 22, so there's hope for the kids watching this guy. Not much of a moral, I know, but I can only lead by example so much.
posted by rhizome at 11:37 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]


From the article dendritejungle posted:

On January 1, the most important day on the Japanese calendar, when families gather and think about the new year, YouTuber Logan Paul posted an apparent suicide on YouTube. That wasn’t the only time he insulted the country’s cultural norms. He started doing that days earlier.


I think this part upsets me almost as much as the fact he videoed a dead person in a mocking fashion in the first place. (Have not seen the video and do not plan to. I trust what the rest are telling me.)

This video was just about as much of a big fat middle finger salute to Japanese culture and society as one could imagine. I know we Americans do not need a lot of help to look bad when we travel overseas but this was Ugly American behaviour to the gazillionth part.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:16 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


I don't have kids, but if I did, I really would not want them learning that it's funny to treat the people around you like they are just extras in a film, for you to fuck with.
posted by thelonius at 12:22 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Japanese culture and a person with no sense of right and wrong...don't mix.
posted by rhizome at 12:42 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Paying people a portion of advertising revenue for creating content is the cause of this.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:45 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


How spiritually corrupt do you have to be to make this video?
posted by theora55 at 3:13 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's corruption so much as vacancy.
posted by rhizome at 3:21 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


As a palate cleanser, read this twitter thread from @caveheraa about Chen Si, who patrols the Nanjing's Yangtze River Bridge, another popular place for suicide, and has saved over 300 people.

A film 'Angel of Nanjing' (review) about Chen Si is available on demand at Vimeo.

Action item, @flavordays (whose kind thread I posted upstream about the forest) suggests those who want to help mental health in Japan donate here: Telljp.com
posted by dreamling at 4:05 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]




Yesterday saw YouTube's algorithm give its largest audience ever to a stream where people were giving tens of thousands of dollars to a white supremacist Hangout with some of the biggest who's who of pretending-not-to-be-Nazis around, and including open Nazi and human punching bag Richard Spencer.

YT didn't even think of pulling the plug.
posted by Yowser at 1:37 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]




Well, finally checked in with my daughter to see if oldest grandson knew about this guy. Turns out he WAS a subscriber but my daughter already made him unsubscribe (according to her he did not see the suicide video but we were all kids once so ymmv on that being true.)

But in any case not a good role model, and she just found out about some casual racism associated with the Logan brand so yeah, one less subscriber.

My grandson just turned 11. If you have kids in your life around that age might not be a bad idea to have a conversation with them.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:14 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


his brother is just as awful
posted by anem0ne at 6:48 AM on January 8


Wow, maybe they really are related to fellow white supremacists Ron and Rand Paul.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:19 AM on January 8


wow, fuck those guys so much. it's despicable that there are kids watching their shit and probably thinking it's ok to treat other people like that.
posted by numaner at 9:06 AM on January 8


YouTube punishes Logan Paul over Japan suicide video.

Good, but not enough. Kick him off youtube totally. And I hope PewDiePie is next.
posted by Pendragon at 5:18 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


> The platform is suspending Paul’s feature-length movie, The Thinning: New World Order and will not feature him in the fourth season of its web series “Foursome.” He will also no longer be a part of the Google Preferred program that links advertisers with popular YouTubers.

So I went and looked up The Thinning on IMDB and...how can this be a real "movie"?

Blake Redding is trapped in this dark room wanting to protect his love so the only thing he will do is escape like no failed student has done before.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:20 AM on January 11


Of course the protagonist is named "Blake."
posted by rhizome at 10:30 AM on January 11


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