By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
While Vine’s time in the spotlight was short-lived by internet standards, the app’s popularity left a big impact on entertainment in our generation.
Namely, it gave the world countless semi-famous wavy haired white guys and reaffirmed the incorrect notion that shrieking is funny.
The cardinal of these shrieking white men is Logan Paul, who has capitalized the most off of Vine’s popularity and cashed in a giant internet following as well as sporadic appearances in mainstream pop culture. He’s cameoed on Law & Order: SVU, and had a role in a short-lived FOX comedy named Weird Loners.
This year, most of his screen-time has been on the news. Right at the start of January, Paul landed himself in boiling water after an eventful trip to Japan for his vlogging YouTube channel, which broadcasts to 16 million subscribers.
In one of his daily videos, he and his friends entered a forest dubbed “Suicide Forest” by locals. It was aptly named; the Logan Paul crew found a dead body hanging from a tree. Rather than ending the video and ducking out of the forest like respectful people, they filmed the dead body with a few laughs and jokes, and posted it on the Internet.
This brought a tsunami of backlash and spurred Paul to go on a YouTube hiatus for three weeks. In that time, his ad revenue from his videos were pulled, and he was banned from Japan.
“Kids who have dealt with death, especially suicide were most certainly triggered by that video,” commented junior Trevor Faria, Hickory RA.
Of course, Paul made an apology video asking for a second chance. He essentially got it; though his reputation has taken an enormous hit, he’s retained the majority of his fanbase and still gathers millions of views.
However, he didn’t stop causing controversies for a moment. During his hiatus, another massive YouTuber, Shane Dawson, was accused of being a pedophile by a small-time internet gossip YouTube channel. Dawson denied the claims, and then came a twist: the YouTube channel posted a follow up video claiming Logan Paul’s manager paid the channel to spread the rumor, presumably to take heat off of Paul’s own misdeeds.
This has never been factually confirmed, but it’s widely assumed that Paul’s manager was indeed behind it.
What is factually confirmed is that only two videos after his return, Logan Paul tased a dead rat and uploaded it to his channel. Viewers were shocked that Paul clearly learned nothing about respecting the dead, and it was such a brief time before he made another mistake.
Also offensive is that the dead rats were clearly planted on their porch, despite the fact that he “found” them, but that’s just an issue of comedic integrity.
These further controversies have spurred users to root for Paul to be banned from the site immediately. However, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki doesn’t believe that sort of action should be taken at the moment.
“He hasn’t done anything that would cause those three strikes,” said Wojcicki . “We can’t just be pulling people off our platform. They need to violate a policy. We need to have consistent [rules].”
Not everyone agrees with Wojcicki, especially not junior Sean Denny, Dell South RA.
“He has continuously broken the community guidelines,” said Denny, “and while banning his account would be a huge decision, I do not feel that he should be able to use YouTube to spread his influence unless he showed that he and his team is willing to follow the guidelines just as every other creator on the platform.”
Interestingly, Logan Paul’s brother Jake Paul supported YouTube’s removal of Logan’s ad revenue, saying, “I think my brother needs to get better at determining what he should put in his videos when millions of kids are watching.”
YouTube channels being banned for behavioral reasons is rare, and it’s never happened to anyone nearly as famous as Paul. According to YouTube, filming a corpse isn’t as bad as using a copyrighted song, evidently.
Some argue that the behavioral policy of the website needs to be updated, though others argue that a rule change would make it even easier for YouTube to unfairly strike channels.
Either way, Logan Paul’s channel and fanbase is here to stay. Although, who knows, by the time this article comes out he might be in trouble for giving FourLoko to a baby or something. He doesn’t seem to learn.