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YouTube punishes US blogger Logan Paul over Japanese suicide video – but he’s still worth US$15m

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 1:08am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 1:08am

YouTube has punished star US blogger Logan Paul over a video that appeared to show him giggling after discovering a dead body in a Japanese forest notorious for suicides.

The company said in a statement that it has removed Paul’s channels from the Google Preferred advertising system and will not feature him in the new season of the web series “Foursome.” It said his new video blogs are also on hold.

Paul, who has a net worth of US$15m (HK$117m) according to Forbes, earlier announced he was stepping away from posting videos “to reflect” following an outcry when he uploaded images of the apparent body and his reaction to finding it in the forest.

But he still made up to US$90,000 (HK$704,000) from his monetised “Tokyo Adventures” YouTube series even during the controversy, The Telegraph reported.

YouTube prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner, the company says. It issued a “strike” against Paul’s channel for violating its community guidelines after the posting.

In the video, Paul – whose other videos from Japan showed him throwing Pokemon balls at strangers and waving dead fist at passers-by – is seen discovering a hanging corpse in the forest.

He can be heard giggling as the camera lingers over the corpse, but is later seen looking shocked while wearing a bright-green Toy Story hat.

The video was viewed some 6 million times before being removed from Paul’s YouTube channel, a verified account with more than 15 million subscribers.

Anger over Logan Paul’s apologies for his controversial video

A storm of criticism followed despite two apologies, with commenters saying Paul seemed disrespectful and that his initial apology was inadequate.

Paul, who has parlayed his YouTube popularity into television guest spots and hosting roles at teen awards shows, now faces a difficult path forward for his career.

Google Preferred’s advertising programme aggregates top YouTube content for advertisers to buy time on them.