'Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views,' YouTube says in a statement released a week after Logan caused social media outrage for posting a video of a suicide victim.
YouTube acknowledged that fans "have been frustrated" by the "lack of communication" regarding its handling of Paul's controversial video, which featured him joking about a dead body he discovered in the forest known for suicides. "You deserve to know what's going on," the company wrote. "Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week." They noted, "Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views."
An open letter to our community:— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently. You’re right to be. You deserve to know what's going on.
Like many others, we were upset by the video that was shared last week.— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views. As Anna Akana put it perfectly: "That body was a person someone loved. You do not walk into a suicide forest with a camera and claim mental health awareness."— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
They continued by defending its decision to remove the 15-minute clip from its website, saying, "The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences." The statement also included a vague reference to "steps" the company would be taking in the future in order to prevent other users from posting similar videos.
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.— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
"We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube, as we're sure you do too," the statement read. "We'll have more to share soon on steps we're taking to ensure a video like this is never circulated again." YouTube did not reveal what specific consequences Paul would be facing, though.
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.— YouTube (@YouTube) January 9, 2018
YouTube's latest comments come after a brief statement issued shortly after the video went viral on January 1. "Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video," so it read. "YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner."
"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," the statement continued. "We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Center."
Meanwhile, Paul has also issued two apology statements after he received backlash. In the first, he apologized while subsequently writing that his goal was to raise awareness for suicide prevention. In the second, a video, he apologized and said he had made a "severe and continuous lapse in judgement." The vlogger has since been stepping away from sharing videos in order to "reflect." He tweeted last Wednesday, "Taking time to reflect. No vlog for now. See you soon."