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YouTuber Logan Paul is facing backlash after he posted a video that showed an apparent suicide victim over New Year’s Eve weekend
Paul, who has over 15 million subscribers, posted a disturbing video about a popular suicide spot. The video, which Paul removed from his page but can still be found other places online, starts with a warning that the footage will be graphic.
“This definitely marks a moment in YouTube history,” he says. “Because I’m pretty sure that this has never hopefully happened to anyone on YouTube ever.”
“Now with that said, buckle up,” he adds. According to this:
Paul then provides that backstory about Aokigahara, a forest in Japan. It has a historical reputation of being a home to ghosts of the dead in Japanese mythology, but more recently it’s become a popular spot for people to commit suicide, earning it the name “suicide forest.”
Though statistics vary, there were said to be up to 105 documented suicides a year. There are even signs at the head of some of the trails that urge visitors with suicidal thoughts to think of their families and call a prevention hotline.
After discussing the paranormal folklore about the forest with his guide, Paul and his team start exploring. Pretty quickly, they come across what appears to be a dead body. While the face is blurred, the rest of the body is visible.
“Yo, are you alive?” you can hear Paul shouting to the body. Paul then describes the condition of the body and speculates that the death was recent.
Usually known for his comedy videos, he apologizes to his viewers and says that suicide, depression and mental illness are not laughing matters. However, when he and his group return the parking lot, the tone of the video becomes lighter and Paul starts laughing nervously.
At the end of the video, he says his laughter and smiling are not a “portrayal” of how he feels about the circumstances, but a coping mechanism.
Logan Paul, 22, posted an apology on Twitter after the video attracted a torrent of criticism online, saying that he had published it in an attempt to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention.
“I was misguided by shock and awe, as portrayed in the video,” he said. “I still am.”
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018