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YouTube cuts ties with Logan Paul

YouTube has cut ties with the social media star who sparked outrage after posting a video that appeared to show the body of a suicide victim.

Logan Paul

Prominent vlogger Logan Paul posted a video on December 31 of him visiting Aokigahara Forest in Japan, a notorious suicide location, where he and his group appeared to happen across a dead body.

Paul, whose YouTube channel has more than 15 million subscribers, apologised for the video following the backlash, while YouTube came under renewed pressure to better police content.

The Google-owned platform has now severed ties with Paul, removing his channels from its Google Preferred programme, which lets brands sell ads on YouTube’s most popular content.

It has also put on hold the feature-length project it was making with Paul for its subscription service, YouTube Red, and made another pledge to police content on the platform more thoroughly.

“Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week. Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views,” YouTube said in a statement. “We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube, as we’re sure you do too. The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences.

“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.”

In December, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote a public statement about “abuse of our platform,” including its YouTube Kids app, and said she aimed to bring the total number of people working to address content that might violate Google’s policies to more than 10,000 in 2018.

This preceded numerous sector-wide comments on such issues at events including the Children’s Global Media Summit in the UK, where BBC director general Tony Hall warned about the dangers of “internet platform providers taking no responsibility for what appears on their platforms.”

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