YouTube has severed commercial links with vlogger Logan Paul following global outrage at the publication of a video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan.
The tasteless content has come at a high price for the star who has seen all his channel’s unceremoniously removed from YouTube’s rarified Google Preferred programme, where brands can target advertising toward the top 5% of content creators. YouTube has also announced that it will not be moving forward at the moment with the planned YouTube Red film Paul was supposed to star in.
The controversial footage first emerged on 31 December when Paul uploaded a video of himself and friends encountering a body and joking around while walking through the Aokigahara forest at the foot of Mount Fuji – a well-known suicide hotspot.
Millions of views duly followed for the ‘disrespectful’ piece before it was eventually removed with a contrite Paul seeking to make amends with a video apology, saying: “I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through.
"I'm ashamed of myself. I'm disappointed in myself.”
The incident is a prime example of brand safety on the video site.
In the wider social media sphere, firms have struggled to get a handle on suicidal users. Facebook has turned to artificial intelligence to identify members who may be harbouring suicidal thoughts.