In the not too new age of technology that the encompassing world finds itself in, few sites have dominated video sharing and streaming quite like the massive platform of YouTube. From music channels like VEVO, to home cooking videos , and YouTube Red original series, the near monopoly they have on video streaming and viewing, has turned everyday youths into celebrities; and, few match the epitome of “YouTube celebrity” quite like Logan Paul.

 

Born in 1995 in Ohio, Paulbegan receiving a following on the now defunct seven-second video platform called the Vine. By 2014, Paul had gained over 3 million followers across all his social platforms, for skits he shared on the Vine; by 2015, he was ranked as the tenth most influential individual on the Vine; an accolade that earned him hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue. According to his Wiki page, as of December 2017, Paul had amassed over 15 million subscribers on his Youtube channel, and was regarded as having the platform’s most popular channel.

 

Logan Paul and Jake Paul

Logan and Jake Paul (BBC News)

Quite like many other YouTubers — such as his very own brother who produced one of the worst songs that was ever released, entitled “It’s Everyday Bro” — Jake and Logan Paul thrived on the “prank video” format of their Youtube platform. In a “prank video”, the video maker would pull some sort of practical joke on either the usually unsuspecting public or directed towards one person in particular. More often than not though, the “unsuspecting public” are usually paid actors that are well aware of  the “prank” or “social experiment” from the beginning. If the participants are not paid actors, then the pranks usually cause great distress, the participant to react rather negatively, or potential legal troubles. For example, according to a New York Times article, In May of 2016, four pranksters associated with the channel Trollstation received a couple months in a British jail when an art heist “prank” and a fake kidnapping “prank” went awry.

 

During his own pranks, Paul has faked his own death, began a prank war with his brother which included most notably urinating on his brother’s bed, pretended to injure his dog and have his brother arrested. Many of his pranks have been considered “click bait” or videos that use appealing or outlandish thumbnails and provocative descriptions usually written in all caps simply to get views which, in return, lead to increased ad revenue for their creators.

 

Well this time around, Paul has found himself in hot water following an video he uploaded last week. At the end of 2017, Paul and his friends took a trip to Japan. While in a land rich with centuries of fascinating history, Paul sadly matched up to every stereotype of the ignorant American, all the while portraying overly arrogant and obnoxious persona in his YouTube videos which his legions of 12-year-old fans describe as “savage.” According to NME magazine, throughout Paul’s trip, he seemed to exhibit knowledge of Japanese stereotypes as he donned a Pikachu costume and threw Pokeballs at bystanders, bought a old school Game Boy Color only to smash it on the ground and demand a refund, describing the now destroyed handheld gaming console as “mucho broken-o.”

 

Logan Paul

Logan Paul (ET)

But what upset people more was his trip to Aokigahara Forest, which is more commonly known as “The Suicide Forest”. During his trip, he recorded the dead body of an individual who had committed suicide. Instead of turning off his camera immediately, he continued to record and also zoomed in on the body, all while wearing a green furry beanie of the claw machine aliens from “Toy Story,” along with an outfit only seen at a rave.

 

Understandably, this video sent the Internet ablaze in the most negative way, with over 300,000 people signing an online petition for Paul to delete his channel. In a video apology — which was ironically still monetized for Paul to earn ad revenue — he apologized and explained that he will be taking a break from vlogging, pranking and doing whatever he was doing both in Tokyo and domestically. Maybe this will be a wake-up call to the mindless teenagers that worship those with no known talent such as Logan Paul. Hopefully, they will turn their minds to an independent musician, animator, filmmaker, or journalist on YouTube.

 

And finally, a word for Logan Paul. If you are going somewhere called “The Suicide Forest” or a place where death and/or sorrow are the cornerstones of the location, maybe wear a button up and slacks next time. It is entirety disrespectful to visit The Holocaust Museum dressed like you are going to Electric Daisy Carnival after all.

 

What are your feelings on YouTubers such as Logan Paul? Tell me your opinion at @CaptainKasoff.