Unless you live under a rock, the Logan Paul scandal has probably been a conversation piece for you at least once these past few days.
In what should be a pretty clear cut, strike-able offense, the incident has been hotly debated by netizens on either end of the divide.
While there have been many who disavow his VLog, there are plenty of Mavericks — Paul’s diehard fans — who tenaciously defend his actions to shocking lengths.
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) January 2, 2018
YouTube’s initial reactions to the VLog were surprising; first, they handpicked the video — disgraceful thumbnail and all — to be featured on their trending list.
The Logan Paul outrage exposed YouTube’s ridiculous double standards on censorship.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) January 4, 2018
After enough flags, Paul’s video was manually reviewed but deemed acceptable enough to remain on the site, despite re-uploaded mirrors resulting in strikes against the account. The video was later deleted — notably not by YouTube, but Paul himself.
Logan Paul’s video was reported and YouTube manually reviewed it; they decided to leave it up without even an age restriction… people who have re-uploaded it since have received strikes for graphic content. Ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/Hj9lyiQwE2
— Ben (@TrustedFlagger) January 2, 2018
I just received an official statement from a contact at @Youtube regarding the outrage and controversy around Logan Paul’s (now self-removed) “We found a dead body” top trending Youtube video.
I’ll save my personal comment for later. Just wanted to pass this along. pic.twitter.com/JNTQDMVvT4
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 2, 2018
For many netizens, this was the first big YouTuber debacle they’d come across — Logan Paul was, and still is, a beloved idol to many young children, and with 15 million subscribers, he had established himself as a household name. But for those of us in the gaming community, our memory runs a bit deeper.
Pewdiepie? What is this word. What is this world. https://t.co/sTBurfQ2Kn
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) January 2, 2018
For those who may not have heard, PewDiePie, real name Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, is the most successful YouTuber in the history of the platform. In 2013, the Swedish YouTuber received $4 million from his videos, and by 2014, he practically doubled that sum. With nearly 60 million subscribers, 16.7 billion video views, and estimated yearly earnings of up to $11 million, PewDiePie is living the dream as a content creator in the video game sphere.
It isn’t just gamers who know about PewDiePie — video game developers depend on him to boost sales of their titles. Even Hideo Kojima, arguably the world’s most beloved video game designer after Shigeru Miyamoto, left hidden messages in Swedish in P.T. (Silent Hills Demo) to attract the highly influential YouTuber.
Due to his wild success, PewDiePie must have assumed he could do no wrong; this thinking may have been what prompted his foolish bravery when it came to his now infamous Fiverr stream. In a misguided effort to highlight the crazy things one could purchase from the website, the YouTuber streamed himself purchasing a gig from two men in India, who promised to record themselves dancing while waving a sign chosen by the buyer.
PewDiePie would later take to social media, explaining that he was “trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online”. His shock in the video, he said, was genuine, as he didn’t believe they would actually go forward with the offensive message.
This, plus some incidents where he said the n-word on stream, was enough for corporations to make a move; on February 12, a month after the Fiverr incident, Disney-owned Maker Studios cut ties with him. Additionally, Google dropped him from the Google Preferred advertising program and cancelled his YouTube Red series, Scare PewDiePie. Although he remained on YouTube, action had been taken, and punishment had been dealt…
…making YouTube’s seemingly preferential reaction to Paul’s video downright infuriating.
Through its parent company, Google, YouTube made it clear that such offensive, racist content towards Jews and Blacks would not be tolerated — and rightfully so. But as some netizens have pointed out, Paul’s video was not just insensitive and disrespectful to a dead person, but to entire Asian cultures the world over. The racist undertones cannot be ignored.
If Paul really wanted to bring attention to suicide prevention there are a million ways he could’ve done it at home in the US. Talking to survivors. To families of those who’ve taken their lives.
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) January 2, 2018
This begs the question: why did YouTube respond strongly to PewDiePie, but weakly to Logan Paul? PewDiePie’s actions are indefensible, but a dead person being broadcast to millions of subscribers — predominately children — should warrant an equal or greater response.
Logan Paul goes to ”suicide forest”:
WoAH wE f0UNd ded GuY here!!!!!
lEMme jUsT zOom in oN tHis F0r tHe Vl0g
OK guYs seRiousLy , lEAve a like if yur sad to0..
— pewdiepie 💰 (@pewdiepie) January 2, 2018
YouTube’s silence speaks volumes: blatant disrespect towards dead people and racism against Asians may be perfectly acceptable — especially if you’re Logan Paul.
So what is it, YouTube? Will you continue to give preferential treatment to your darling Logan? Or will you dole out appropriately severe punishment, as in the case of PewDiePie?
Your move. Trust me — we’re ALL eagerly awaiting your decision.
Featured Image via Twitter / feiixkjeiibergx