On 11 January 2017, YouTube revealed that the platform will be cutting business ties with US vlogger Paul Logan, after the popular star posted a video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan.
By cutting business ties with the star who has 15 million subscribers, YouTube has removed his channel from its Google Preferred programme, where brands sell ads on the platform’s top 5% of content creators that are most popular among 18-34 year-olds in the US. It also revealed that it has put all of Logan’s original projects on hold for the time being.
The video in question was posted on 31 December 2017 as the vlogger visited Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji, which is infamous for the number of suicides that take place there.
The video showed Logan and a group of friends going in to film the “haunted” forest, as they come across a man’s body and after showing initial shock Logan then proceeded to make jokes.
The video made it through YouTube’s stringent requirements to quickly accumulate 6 million views over 10 days before the video was removed by Logan himself.
Despite the vlogger posting an apology on Twitter, saying he had been “misguided by shock and awe,” many online comments labelled the video as “disrespectful” and “disgusting.”
He also uploaded a video apology, which has already amounted nearly 41 million views, in which he said, “I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through.”
The error in judgment is likely to cost the American as his videos will no longer earn top-tier cash per click. He has however not been completely kicked off the platform, meaning he will still earn money from views. Forbes magazine estimated that Logan made a total of $12.5 million in 2016, making him the fourth highest-paid YouTube star in 2016.