Logan Paul, the social media influencer with millions of followers across several social media platforms, has finally been punished by Google and YouTube. In case you’ve missed the details leading up to this decision, here is the breakdown:
Paul recently shared a video that he captured in Aokigahara — the Japanese forest that is referred to as “suicide forest” due to the dozens of people who choose to end their lives there each year. He and his friends came upon a body hanging from a tree and posted it to his YouTube account under the guise of “suicide awareness.” He quickly took it down, but not before it got millions of views — many of them by children and young teenagers. He followed this lapse in judgment by making an apology, but it turns out that it was too little too late.
This week, Google finally announced its decision to drop Paul from Google Preferred, which is “a special advertising program that connects top channels with brand advertisers, and from Foursome, a series on YouTube Red, the streaming service’s premium subscription service,” according to USA Today. A movie by Paul that was in the works with YouTube has also been put on hold. Google says Paul violated its Community Guidelines by posting his tasteless video.
Initially, Paul had just one strike against him as a result of violating the Community Guidelines (three strikes in a month can lead to a suspended YouTube account). But the video service came under fire for not shelling out a more serious punishment, which led to its decision this week to drop Paul from its platforms.
Paul is no stranger to controversy. He built his social media empire — and earns millions of dollars — by performing stunts and pranks and posting them online. But this particular stunt went too far and the repercussions are showing Paul’s contemporaries that social media platforms that host them will not tolerate such acts.