The Wrangler

Logan Paul and the Disrespect of Aokigahara

A screen grab from Paul's video uploaded January 1st.

BBC

A screen grab from Paul's video uploaded January 1st.

Madison Preston, Editor-in-Chief

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Logan Paul is one of the most subscribed to creators on Youtube with a subscriber count of just over 15 million. His daily vlogs consistently rake in millions of views within just hours of posting. The majority of his viewer demographic is mostly kids between the ages of 8 and 18. With such a young, impressionable audience, his content has the potential to shape and influence the young minds of the future, and his platform should be used with great responsibility.

Paul recently traveled to Japan and documented the trip for his fans by posting daily videos on his Youtube Channel. On January 1, 2018 he uploaded a video in which he entered Aokigahara, popularly deemed the “Japanese Suicide Forest,” just below Mount Fuji. Aokigahara earned its unfortunate nickname due to the several lost souls who wander off the forests trails to end their lives. The dark history of this forest is no secret to new visitors. There are several signs in the forest pleading with visitors to remember their loved ones as well as many ribbons and markers to guide one back to trail. The forest is rumored to be haunted by the stagnant and undiscovered spirits of those lost in the abyss. Paul set out to focus his vlog on the haunted aspect of the forest and spend the night in the woods. However, within minutes of entering the forest, he encountered a lifeless hanging body. Paul and his friends reacted with initial shock but nevertheless kept the cameras rolling. He proceeded to approach the body and show the graphic image of the lifeless man hanging there and his purple hands. Thankfully he blurred the man’s face to protect his identity, but even showing the image of him in the first place is utterly unacceptable. Police were called, and in the meantime, Paul and his friends can be seen cracking jokes and laughing about the situation at hand.

Paige Weingarten (12) believes Paul’s behavior was “disgusting and disrespectful to the culture of Japan.” He should “be held responsible for the damage he has done” and “face the consequences of his actions.” A video like that should have never been published, let alone grace the Youtube trending page. Young impressionable minds should not be seeing a topic as serious as suicide portrayed as a joke. A video regarding a place like Aokigahara should be filmed in a respectful manner and used for educational purposes. Using someone’s death as content for views is not the direction the world of social media should be going in. The entire encounter should have been removed in editing. After a tsunami of backlash, Paul took to twitter to publish a rather narcissistic apology that didn’t help his case in the slightest. Therefore, after the posting of an apology video to his Youtube channel, he announced that he will be taking a break from posting daily and taking time to reflect.

Social media influencers have major platforms that reach millions of minds everyday. The content they post should hold their genuine passions and interests to better their audience. With great reach comes great responsibility that should be respected.

 

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