On Sunday, YouTuber Logan Paul posted a video showing him and his friends going through the Aokigahara forest in Japan, commonly known as “Suicide Forest”. This location is the world’s second most popular suicide location. The incredibly graphic video showed Logan and his crew stumbling upon a dead body hanging from a tree.
The 15 minute video has been taken down following major backlash:
In response to the backlash, Logan Paul has issued an apology as well as a response video:
- Suicide is not funny. The fact that I even have to state that is alarming. The reaction of the people in the video (including cursing, laughter, and smiles) is wildly inappropriate. Who comes across a dead body and thinks that it’s funny to make jokes?
- Suicide is not entertainment. A human took their own life. To exploit someone’s suicide for views, money, and fame is desperate, cruel, and harmful.
- Such depictions of suicide are harmful, not helpful. The apology stated that the video’s intent was to “raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention”. The media has rules regarding the discussion of topics such as suicide for a reason. Stories and videos can be triggering for those impacted by suicide, mental illness, or suicidal ideation. Improper coverage can lead to media-related suicide contagion. If the intent was suicide prevention, the video itself may actually lead to the opposite.
- Learn how to apologize. The apology isn’t even real. “I get views” and stating he has “great power” seems more like a pep talk about how famous/awesome he is than an apology. It’s not simply a mistake. That video was recorded, edited (with sounds for comical effect), and uploaded. At no point along the way did he think that it was inappropriate to upload a video of a suicide victim online for millions of viewers (including children) to view.
- Please seek out help if you are experiencing difficulties: https://themighty.com/suicide-prevention-resources/
I hope that 2018 can be the year that suicide awareness and prevention can be addressed PROPERLY. I’m sick of harmful coverage of suicide. It’s time for change.