YouTube star Logan Paul drew widespread condemnation from the Internet Monday night after he posted a video showing an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s “suicide forest.”
The video, which has since been pulled from Paul’s official YouTube channel though has been re-uploaded by other users on the service, featured Paul and several friends “vlogging” a recent trip to Japan. In an intro to the video — titled “We saw a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest” — Paul says: “this is not clickbait. This is the most real vlog I have ever posted on this channel.”
He then warns viewers that the video is graphic and remarks that he thinks it is “a moment in YouTube history because I’m pretty sure this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever.”
The video continues with Paul and his crew arriving to go camping at the forest, officially known as Aokigahara.
After the group enters the forest and ventures off the trail they happen upon an apparent suicide victim hanging from a tree. Paul and company then decide to venture closer to the body, filming their reactions along the way. The video shows several close-ups of the victim’s body, though the victim’s face is blurred.
In a statement, YouTube shared condolences to the family of the person who appeared in the video. “YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner,” reads an excerpt of YouTube’s statement. “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.”
“Suicide is not a joke,” Paul says in the video. “Depression and mental illnesses are not a joke. We came here with an intent to focus on the ‘haunted’ aspect of the forest.”
In a second apology posted to his channel Tuesday, Paul said he regrets posting the video. “There’s a lot of things I should’ve done differently, but I didn’t,” he said. “And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.”
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