Google has dished out a stiff punishment to Logan Paul that will limit his earning power and his visibility on YouTube for blasting out a controversial video showing a suicide victim in the Aokigahara, the Japanese forest where dozens of bodies are discovered every year.
The YouTube star has been dropped by Google Preferred, a special advertising program that connects top channels with brand advertisers, and from Foursome, a series on YouTube Red, the streaming service’s premium subscription service. YouTube says it’s also shelved plans for an upcoming original movie Paul was slated to appear in, “The Thinning: New World Order.”
The backlash over the suicide video, which showed a dead body hanging from a tree in what’s known as “suicide forest,” has raised questions about YouTube’s lax approach to videos uploaded to the service. It’s also shaken the mini digital empire the 22-year-old Paul built out of his prank-and-stunt-filled daily missives on YouTube watched by millions of followers, many of them tweens, teens and kids.
…Eric Dahan, co-founder and CEO of Open Influence, says the controversy has woken up YouTube to the havoc that the missteps of one of its top content creators can wreak on its global brand. He expects stricter guidelines and increased monitoring on YouTube, even morality clauses for YouTube stars.
“Through its decision to cut ties with Logan Paul, YouTube is sending a clear message to influencers that they will be held responsible for their actions and that they need to think twice before sharing content that could be considered offensive or inappropriate,” Dahan said in an email.
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