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Following the backlash over their delayed response and lack of stronger disciplinary action against Logan Paul’s “suicide forest” video, Youtube finally handed out its punishment to the vlogger.

The video-hosting site said “it’s decided to remove Logan Paul’s channels from Google Preferred,” the search website’s top-tier ad platform that offers brand advertisers access to Youtube’s most prominent creators in the U.S. He will also be booted off from the comedy web series, “Foursome,” that is currently airing on the site’s premium subscription service Youtube Red, a show where he previously appeared alongside other social media entertainers.

His future appearance in the Youtube original movie sequel, “The Thinning: New World Order,” will also not push through while production has been put “on hold”.

The sanction is for a video blog Paul uploaded on his Youtube channel of his trip to Japan that included a  footage of a person who died from an apparent suicide at  Aokigahara forest, which is a known suicide spot in Japan. Worse, he was also seen making jokes about the corpse. The now-deleted video immediately drew widespread criticism from all over the world, including the Japanese youth suicide prevention organization Ova, pressing the Google-owned website to take action.

At the time, Youtube issued a “Community Guidelines strike,” which, when received thrice in a three-month period, can result to being barred from the platform. Many felt, however, that the company needed to impose tougher reprimands  and release a statement denouncing the content considering the severity of the deed. Youtube eventually spoke through an open letter posted on Twitter, eleven long days after the said video was posted and deleted.

“It’s taken us a long time to respond, but we’ve been listening to everything you’ve been saying. We know that the actions of one creator can affect the entire community, so we’ll have more to share soon on steps we’re taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again,” the tweet said.

“Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views. As Anna Akana put it perfectly: ‘That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness,'” the tweet added.

Paul has also issued an apology on Twitter, saying he “didn’t do it for the views.”

“I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity…I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought ‘if this video saves just ONE life, it’ll be worth it,’ I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video. I still am,” he said.

He apologized twice more on Twitter and Youtube, but it was not enough to tide the criticism.

French digital-media company Blackpills has also cut its ties with Paul, according to a report from Variety, terminating a project where he was set to create, write and star in a short-form original series exclusive for the mobile-focused service. “Logan Paul’s previously announced project with Blackpills is no longer in development and Blackpills will not be pursuing it at any time in the future,” the company said in a statement.

Considered one of Youtube’s top creators, the 22-year-old, former Vine creator from California has a combined following of 20 million on the website, largely composed by teens and pre-teens, excluding his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers. He has announced on Twitter that no vlogs will be uploaded for now as he is “taking time to reflect.”

YouTube’s upload-anything-anytime ethos has been a constant subject of debate, too, as videos containing graphic or inappropriate content continue popping up on the platform. The company has at times struggled to enforce its policies prohibiting violent and gory videos. In the same statement, however, YouTube said it “acted accordingly” in response to Paul’s post.

Photo from Manila Bulletin


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