The World Wide Web has opened our eyes and unlocked so many doors… but with unlocked doors invites strangers into our homes, unwanted contact, and content.
Logan Paul joins the long list of shamed online influencers who have ‘just made a mistake’.
He’s been forced to use his platform to apologise to the millions of people after making a mistake. However, this mistake isn’t a long-forgotten-about-tweet like Zoella, it was a dead body.
The celebrity YouTuber caused the controversy after posting a video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan.
15 million subscribers is a large audience for the popular 22-year-old American but their reaction was split. Many quickly took to Twitter to voice their concerns, branding him “disrespectful” and “disgusting” after he joked with his friends upon finding the hanging body.
How dare you! You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) 2 January 2018
They discovered the body in Aokigahara Forest, a notorious suicide spot at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.
Though the video is now offline it received millions of views before it was removed. Millions of people saw the disturbing image but, arguably, though this is ethically wrong is it truly unexpected?
How feasable truly is it to censor every piece of content that goes online? Influencers such as Logan Paul should self censor, fake news shouldn’t be shared and trolling should be taken more seriously. However, the internet is growing vastly with every second.
Last year it was revealed what happens in an internet second:
54,907 Google searches
125,406 YouTube video views
2,501,018 emails sent
A massive 46.1% of the world is online. You just can’t censor them all every second of the day.
Though the video was, rightfully, met with a wave of criticism it also offered the chance to reflect for many who argued that similar things are uploaded every single day and not always just on the dark web.
The constant pressure for social influencers to keep to date with followers and consistently upload in order to maintain their audience. In a world where internet and communication is constant the pressure to ‘keep up’ can result in lapses in judgement, much like reactive messages over text during arguments. It’s easy to forget that film studios have months and teams of professionals to study all their content before releasing it to the world – whereas bloggers such as Logan Paul have only themselves to self-censor.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) 2 January 2018
Self-censorship is so important but, in the present day, it’s not plausible that the internet double checks every upload, not if uploads are to stay instant.
Popular beauty blogger and founder of Front Row Fascination Becci Hollis, 21, agrees that self-censorship is the only way to move forward when having to create content constantly without others to ‘check it’.
“In my view, public figures on social media platforms have a responsibility to protect their viewers/followers and self-censor what they put on the internet.
“I don’t believe it is plausible to have the internet do it for you as I just don’t think it’s possible with the shear amount that goes on every second.
“But, I do think there should be some sort of filter put in place. For example, there is a tool on Facebook that automatically recognises if a video or image contains nudity, violence or upsetting content and it puts a warning message over it which you can then click through if you still wish to view it.
“I think other social media platforms such as You Tube and Instagram should follow suit and take these precautions too. Although this would never fully solve the problem, it would protect those who are more vulnerable.
“As I said earlier, these public figures know what a great impact they have on a large audience of people, so they should be extremely careful as to what they post, it is their responsibility and it is them that should suffer the consequences of behaviour that goes against this.”
As a blogger Becci self-censors in order to protect her brand but also her followers, she feels this is her responsibility.
“As a blogger, I constantly self-censor, I am very cautious as to what I put online. I don’t have a large following but I am still representing myself on a daily basis and I always intend to be my most authentic self, without revealing too much.
“I think when social media becomes your career, it is harder to keep that boundary between your online self and real life, which may be where these public figures go wrong as they seemingly forget the thousands/millions of people who are going to see what they post.
The Logan Paul scandal was widely discussed within the blog-sphere and Becci’s own opinion reflected that of most bloggers…
“In terms of Logan Paul, I think it is right how much back lash he has received. In no normal world is it ever okay to post a video and look as though you are laughing and making light of a dead body. I personally believe it was not a ‘mistake’. He knew exactly what he was doing and he had so much time from filming it, to editing it, to actually uploading it to have seen how wrong it was.
“After doing some research of my own and listening to others point of views, I have formed my opinion on Logan Paul and if you have watched any of his other videos you can see his lack of respect and care for other countries and cultures. I am glad he has received the back lash he has, and I think it is a lesson learnt that you can not behave in that way at any time, let alone with millions of people watching and following you.”
Outside of the blog-sphere other professionals also had strong opinions on that video.
British Labour MP Melanie Onn, had tweeted that she bought a Logan Paul hoodie as a Christmas present for her 10-year-old son and went on to comment that the video was “dreadful”. She went on to add that: “I can’t believe he was able to put that up without any checks at all.”
Since gaining worldwide notoriety Aokigahara has become a well known suicide spot with a record 105 bodies reportedly discovered there in 2003. Recently local police have stopped releasing the number of annual deaths in an attempt to reduce the area’s association with suicide.
Is it time we stop blaming the internet but instead look at the reflection on our screens?
Many followers have joined the debate since this post went live and here is @paulayyyyy
Censorship never is, and never will be the answer. Freedom of speech is a basic human right.
— Paul (@Paulayyyyyy) 3 January 2018
To get your voice heard just tweet your opinion or reply to this post.
In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found atwww.befrienders.org.