YouTube star Logan Paul slammed for posting video of dead body in Japanese ‘suicide forest’

Logan Paul, a YouTube star with more than 15 million followers, landed in hot water after he posted a video over the weekend of a dead body hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest known for suicides.

The controversial 15-minute video, which was later removed by Paul, showed the actor and his friends walking through the Aokigahara forest in Japan when they stumble upon the body of an apparent suicide victim.

“Suicide is not a joke. Depression and mental illness are not a joke. We came here with an intent to focus on the ‘haunted’ aspect of the forest. This obviously just became very real,” Paul said in the video.

On Monday and Tuesday, the 22-year-old apologized for posting the footage, claiming he didn’t do it to generate views but to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.

As videos become more popular on social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook, tech firms have been grappling with how to handle offensive content.

“Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video. YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner,” YouTube said in a statement.  “If a video is graphic, it can only remain on the site when supported by appropriate educational or documentary information and in some cases it will be age-gated.”

YouTube issues “strikes” when a user posts a video that violates its online rules. If a user gets enough strikes during a certain time period, YouTube will pull down the account.

For Paul, the fallout was swift. Celebrities such as “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner slammed Paul for his actions while other social media users urged others to unfollow the YouTube star.

Model Chrissy Teigen raised questions about the criticism Paul was receiving after posting the video, clarifying afterwards that she’s not saying that what the social media star did “wasn’t sick and stupid.”

“Re: Logan Paul, something I always think about is when people make…ethical mistakes, as in, not-illegal, should we really be trying I ruin their lives and end their careers or accept the apology, personally make a choice to stop watching, and move on,” she wrote on Twitter.

Suicide Prevention Resources
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
California Youth Crisis Line: 800-843-5200
The Trevor Project (for LGBT youth): 866-488-7386
Know the Signs

Photo: Logan Paul arrives at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 21, 2017. The YouTube celebrity apologized for posting a video of a suicide victim in Japan that reportedly was viewed by 6 million people before being deleted. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)


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