YouTube on Tuesday responded to the fury and controversy surrounding the now-removed video Logan Paul posted that showed a dead body in an area of Japan known as the “suicide forest.”
“Our hearts go out to the family of the person featured in the video,” the company said in a statement. It continued with an iteration of its terms and regulations.
“YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner,” YouTube said. “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. We partner with safety groups such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to provide educational resources that are incorporated in our YouTube Safety Center.”
People on Twitter criticized the video platform, saying its statement seemed to be “hollow.”
i guess i’m just dumb as hell because this didn’t seem to say anything at all.
— ♡♪!? (@SkyWilliams) January 2, 2018
Yaaa. It’s a big wordy non answer imo. #TheThinning2OnlyOnYoutubeRed
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 2, 2018
Really YouTube??? This is the best you could come up with?
— Kay ♡ 🌈 (@c_nfess) January 2, 2018
This is resoundingly hollow when it had literally millions of views and was on the Trending tab, something they so clearly control and influence. Ridiculous statement from a platform that is increasingly finding itself mired in controversy like this under the current leadership.
— Battery Operated Joy 2018 (@Mangaminx) January 2, 2018
On Monday, Paul tweeted an apology for the video he has since taken down. It showed footage of a dead body in Aokigahara, an 11.5-square mile forest on Mt. Fuji known as the “suicide forest.”
“I’ve never faced criticism like this before, because I’ve never made a mistake like this before,” Paul tweeted.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
He also apologized in a vlog, but many people called on YouTube to ban Paul from its platform and questioned why the company didn’t step in sooner.
Very disappointed in @YouTube. Logan Paul should have never even had the time to take down his own video.
— Allochii (@AllochiiOcarina) January 2, 2018
🛑RETWEET THIS FOR @YouTube to make a change. Youtube CANNOT allow disgusting, horrifying content like what Logan Paul did. He not only used the dead suicide victims body in his thumbnail, but zooms in on the victims hands & pockets & makes heartless jokes! This is unacceptable!
— Kandee Johnson (@kandeejohnson) January 2, 2018
The controversy came one month after YouTube revealed plans to expand its moderation team to help remove “problematic content,” including extremist rhetoric and hate speech.
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For more information about suicide prevention or to speak with someone confidentially, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) or Samaritans (U.K.).