What Students Can Learn From Logan Paul’s Mistake


Photo courtesy of www.vulture.com

In a screenshot from his December 31 video, Logan Paul reacts to finding a suicide victim in Japan’s”Sea of Trees.”

On December 31, Youtuber Logan Paul’s reputation went from hero to zero in a matter of seconds. That day, one of Paul’s videos, titled “We Found a Dead Body in the Japanese Suicide Forest,” received a great deal of attention and stirred immediate controversy.

According to www.fortune.com, in Paul’s video, he and his friends searched for a camping spot in the Aokigahara or “Sea of Trees.” Located at the northwestern base of Mount Fuji in Japan, the forest has become a popular suicide site in recent years. Halfway through the video, Paul and his entourage spotted a man who had committed suicide. Instead of stopping the video, as most people would have expected, Paul approached the deceased individual and continued to record him. The only part of the man’s body that was blurred in the video was his face. Paul then laughed as if the situation was funny.

An extremely popular Youtuber who often posts comedic and irreverent vlogs, (he once posted a video of him sneaking a friend of his, who happens to be a little person, into a piece of checked luggage on a flight from the United States to France), Paul received an enormous amount of backlash for choosing to film the body and then make a joke out of it.

According to www.buzzfeed.com, Twitter user @aaronpaul_8 tweeted “How dare you! You disgust me. I can’t believe that so many young people look up to you. So sad. Hopefully this latest video woke them up. You are pure trash. Plain and simple. Suicide is not a joke. Go rot in hell.” Many individuals were hurt by Logan Paul’s video. They had to deal with him videotaping and laughing at a man who was so depressed that he committed suicide.

Another Twitter user, @Andrew_Reiner, wrote “Can we start 2018 by removing all Logan Paul content from the internet?”

As a result of the negative responses, Paul soon issued an apology and took the video down. On January 9, YouTube released a statement via their Twitter account condemning Paul’s video, saying, “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.”

According to ww.vulture.com, YouTube announced on January 10 it was removing Paul’s channels from Google Preferred, its preferred ad program, and the sequel to his YouTube film The Thinning was placed on hold. The website also halted production of Logan Paul Vs. and dropped him from season 4 of the YouTube Red series Foursome.

Benjamin students also too exception to Paul’s video. Seventh grader Alex Bories remarked, “For some people, it is very upsetting and I [also] find it upsetting because I actually do have depression with anxiety. Youtube needs to rework their staff because they let it up there for almost 12 hours until Logan Paul decided to take it down. It also made it onto the trending list.” YouTube’s  trending list is handpicked by the Youtube staff, which seems to make the website partially to blame as well.

“It’s disrespectful to everyone that is dealing with suicidal feelings, and everyone that has depression,” said seventh grader Lexi Lower. “The [suicidal victim’s] family has to deal with having their family member in Logan Paul’s vlog after he made fun of what was going on and how he was laughing about it.”

Despite everything that happened in Logan Paul’s video, he is still gaining subscribers. As of January 16, 2018, Logan Paul has 15,869,948 subscribers and counting on his YouTube channel.

In a recent assembly, Dean of Students Jeffery Cavallo talked about the importance of making good choices. Cavallo used the example of the recent BCS College Football Championship and how, after being benched for freshman Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama starting QB Jalen Hurts chose to be a supportive and vocal teammate, rather than sulk over his situation. “Those are the kind of choices we should all aspire to make,” said Cavallo.

Similarly, Mr. Crisafi, in his Digital Tools & Citizenship class which is taught to sixth graders, emphasizes the importance of making good choices when it comes to online behavior and social media. “There is a great responsibility that comes with access to the online world,” said Crisafi. “Many young students are not yet equipped with the maturity or ability to make responsible decisions despite the fact that they have these phones and tablets. So I try to give them examples of real-life situations where people have had severe consequences because of the poor choices they made online. Logan Paul is a great example of that.”

It was not difficult for the sixth graders to see the lesson illustrated by Paul’s actions. “Logan Paul’s video shows that some people don’t think before they act,” said sixth grader Robert Letsche. Eighth grader Lily Valentini mirrored Letsche’s thoughts, saying Logan Paul’s video “tells people that you should be careful of what you put on the Internet.”

TBS students can learn a great deal from Logan Paul.  The everyday choices students make, from choosing to complete homework or not, listen to their parents, or post disrespectful and hurtful content online, can have dire consequences. Everyone has the ability to make choices and choose what path they want to go down. Hopefully, Logan Paul can serve as a lesson in what not to do.