YouTube Freedom

YouTube has been around for 13 years and has risen to the top in entertainment popularity, especially with teenagers. But the platform has not always been known for appropriate content. Even though YouTube has strict content policies, anything can be uploaded and viewed by millions before it is taken down, even if it violates policy. YouTube flags content that is hateful, dangerous, shows nudity, and many other possible negative outcomes. In late 2017, the entertainment website displayed a prime example of how the system of uploading and screening content failed.

A famous YouTuber named Logan Paul uploaded a 15-minute video that changed his career forever. While recording his experiences in Japan, Paul and a group of his friends visited an infamous forest nicknamed “The Suicide Forest.” Upon entry, Paul came across and recorded the dead body of a man who appeared to have committed suicide. In the video, Paul blurred out the man’s face but continued to make light of the situation, while his peers were in shock. He asked the clearly lifeless body, “yo, are you alive” and made other vulgar jokes addressing the deceased. The video was taken down two days later by Paul after public outrage. Later Paul issued two apologies after critics found the first one defensive claiming, “I didn’t do it for the views, I get views.” After his widespread video made the news, he did a sit-down interview with Good Morning America. Since then, Paul has taken a brief break from daily vlogging and spoke to an attempted suicide victim to understand the severity of his actions.

Logan Paul is one of the many examples of how platforms continuously let famous personality stars to do as they please with little supervision. The Atlantic blames the platform for putting users in the position to take such action stating, “We stuck a smartphone in every 14-year-old’s hand and told them it could make them famous. Little wonder that the kids who won the lottery don’t know when to turn the camera off. Little wonder that before the backlash, Paul’s video was going viral. The internet’s only currency is attention.”

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