The Logan Paul Quandary (CW)

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Happy 2018, he says when he has already written the title of this post and the things I am going to discuss. This is the first post I’ve put up with a content warning. I don’t want to upset people. I was going to make this password protected, but it’s too important for me to block you from seeing in any way, so here we are.

2018 has started off with a question, a quandary. Logan Paul. For those who are not in the know, this guy is an actor and you tuber, who is particularly successful on the platform. He had uploaded a video wherein he visited Japan’s suicide forest, and came across a dead body, and showed it on camera (face blurred, of course, it was), and this has created a media outrage. Stars have condemned him, fans have defended him, and he deleted the video, and made two apologies. That’s the cliff note version of events.

This case brings up a lot of dilemmas and tough questions that we need to ask ourselves, questions that while I will not answer all of, I will mention. There is, of course, how YouTube should punish him and if they will punish him. Nothing has been done about it publicly by YouTube, besides a press release. Then there is the wider matter of how we deal with suicide, the┬ácontent that internet entertainers such as Mr. Paul et al. make and its appropriateness for younger viewers. There’s also discussion about what is right and wrong to show on mass media, and the fine line between controversial discussion and the blatant showing of controversial imagery for attention and ‘views’. On that last point, it reminds me of an old Simpsons quote…

‘Eww, Fox became a hardcore pornography channel so slowly, I didn’t even realise it’

That’s possibly paraphrased, but you get the idea. Media showing increasingly salacious content that the boundaries of good and bad taste are blurred so much.

The main issue in question though is that of suicide and the way that Logan Paul handled the issue. Suffice to say, he did not handle it well. At all. Suicide rates in Japan are some of the highest in the world, perhaps due to its general tolerance throughout the country’s history, and the societal pressure of providing for and nurturing a family (most suicides in Japan are by men).

I have never been suicidal so I cannot comment on what I think should be done without saying that I am coming from the issue from an outsider perspective. I think we can all agree though that sharing images of dead people online is a horrible thing to do, in fact, it is an abysmal thing to do. It is awful that that person felt the need to end their life, and that their hanging, rotting corpse was shown on a worldwide platform like youtube by a bunch of entertainers.

What needs to be done on a platform like youtube is that Logan Paul needs to be held accountable. He could volunteer at a suicide helpline, or talk to a charity about it, and work with them. He needs to understand and be educated. I think we all need to understand and be educated on this issue. It’s the only way we can stop it. That’s just a partial answer to a problem, a quandary. It is just a partial answer to the Logan Paul Quandary.

 

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Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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