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YouTube Shares 'Open Letter' Addressing Logan Paul's Controversial Video

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On Tuesday, YouTube issued a public statement from their Twitter account responding to popular YouTuber Logan Paul’s controversial video, which featured the body of a man who had died by suicide.

The video was uploaded last Sunday, but was taken down by Paul himself the next day after swift backlash. According to reports, within the hours the video was live, it had been viewed 6.3 million times. YouTube responded for the first time that Tuesday, saying their hearts went out to the family of the person featured in the video, and that their guidelines prohibit violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner. But their statement released the following Tuesday, in an “open letter” style, addressed the issue more intimately.

“An open letter to our community,” the statement read, “Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what’s going on.”

The statement emphasized they were also upset by the video shared by Paul, and that, “Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views.”

YouTube said the video violated community guidelines, and that the company “acted accordingly,” a line many have since criticized. Philip DeFranco, who hosts a show on YouTube, posted a video response to the statement. 

What are you talking about? What kind of revisionist history bullshit is that… When you say you ‘acted accordingly,’ did you say that you had the video trending, top trending, on YouTube, that you acted accordingly in waiting about a day and several million views of people watching this dead person in the video in the thumbnail until Logan Paul decided to remove the video, but you, despite all the people flagging the video, were like ‘Fuck it.’ Just own the mistake.

In an apology shared on Twitter, Logan Paul said he didn’t post the video “for the views,” rather he intended to raise awareness for suicide. However, experts warn showing suicide and focusing on suicide methods can actually have the opposite intended effect. Research has found that when a story explicitly describes the suicide method or uses dramatic and graphic details, it increases the risk of additional suicides.

YouTube said it’s “looking at further consequences” for Logan Paul, but it’s unclear what that means for the YouTube star and his channel with over 15 million subscribers. YouTube closed their statement with, “We’ll have more to share soon on steps we’re taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again.”

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Screenshot via

Originally published: January 10, 2018
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