(Trigger warning: suicide)
When scrolling through social media, most people expect to find silly videos of cute puppies, not videos of suicide victims hanging from trees.
Yet, this was the case on Jan. 1.
Happy New Year, am I right?
Controversial YouTube star Logan Paul apparently thought posting a disturbing video displaying his reactions to a suicide victim’s dead body was not only acceptable, but what he considered, “the craziest and most real video [he’s] ever uploaded.”
Yeah. You read that right.
Well, crazy and real it definitely was. Hours after posting, Paul rightfully received widespread criticism from horrified viewers and fellow YouTubers. That same night, he half-heartedly apologized for his actions in not one but two statements via Twitter.
Apparently, the first one wasn’t rehearsed enough.
But, of course, it was his fan base that stuck faithfully by his side, tweeting to his defense. Wonder where we’ve seen this type of behavior before?
Two days after the backlash and outrage, Paul tweeted that he would not be posting vlogs “for now” as he was “taking time to reflect.” A decision undoubtedly better than his last.
And probably the only commendable decision he’s made since posting.
Just three weeks after posting such a horrendous video and consequently going off the grid, Paul resurfaced on his popular YouTube channel with a new video titled “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow.”
Oh, the irony.
The video begins with the statistic, “About 800,000 people worldwide die by suicide every year.”
So, my only question to Logan Paul is – About 800,000 people worldwide don’t receive second chances, so why should you?
Sure, we all make mistakes, but we don’t all post videos of dead bodies on social media, either. Choosing to learn from your mistakes is one thing, but choosing to profit from your “mistake” is another.
Paul does not deserve a second chance. What he did was no mistake.
What he did was gruesome, inconsiderate, dehumanizing and most importantly – intentional.
He walked into Aokigahara Forest, infamously dubbed “The Suicide Forest,” with some pals, a camera and a thirst for followers, subscribers and likes.
He knew what he was getting into.
He chose to record. He edited the clips. He hyped up his fans. And he uploaded the video.
He did not choose to delete the video initially.
Choosing to chalk his decisions up to “mistakes” made by a “kid” is choosing to be complicit in this disgusting new culture that normalizes sadistic behavior for the sake of social media hits and likes.
YouTuber Anna Akana put it best, “You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness.”