YouTube Star Logan Paul came under fire yesterday for a video in the Japanese “suicide forest” in which he filmed a dead body — according to a new report; YouTube may have approved the video to be published despite knowing exactly what it depicted.
TechCrunch reports that YouTube may have been more responsible in the publishing of the recent video by YouTube Star Logan Paul than was previously known. Paul, who boasts 15 million subscribers on YouTube, came under fire recently after he uploaded a video blog from Japan’s “suicide forest” in which he filmed the hanging body of a suicide victim. Paul deleted the video but by the time he did, it had already gained approximately 6 million views, and now it seems it may have been approved by YouTube’s moderation team before it was published.
It was a member of YouTube’s own content assessment team that revealed that Paul’s video had been reviewed, and approved without age restriction, by the team. In a tweet from their account, the member of the YouTube Trusted Flagger team known only as “Ben” tweeted a screenshot that is allegedly a confirmation of review by the team of Paul’s video.
Logan Paul's video was reported and YouTube manually reviewed it; they decided to leave it up without even an age restriction… people who have re-uploaded it since have received strikes for graphic content. Ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/Hj9lyiQwE2
— Ben (@TrustedFlagger) January 2, 2018
This means that the YouTube “Trusted Flagger” team received a report on the video, which depicted the hanging dead body of a suicide victim, and deemed that it was acceptable to host on their platform without any age restriction whatsoever. YouTube’s own guidelines state that “it’s not okay to post violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful,” which would seem to disqualify Paul’s video from being hosted on the platform.
A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement, “Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video. YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated. We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Center.” The spokesperson would not comment on whether or not Paul will be receiving a strike on his account for the video, if a YouTube creator receives three strikes on their channel, the channel can be banned.
YouTube Star PewDiePie commented on Paul’s video in his own video saying, “It encompasses everything wrong with YouTube, the clickbait, the sensationalism, the thing that’s got to keep pushing [the envelope]. At the end of the day, it just shines bad on everyone.”
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at [email protected]