Logan Paul, the controversial YouTuber who was banned from posting to the site after showing an image of a person hanged in the ‘Japanese suicide forest’ has had even more bad news. Paul was still able to collect revenue from his existing videos, but YouTube has decided – at least temporarily – to stop those videos being monetised.
While this would not be a huge problem for most people, Paul has one of the most popular channels on the site. In fact, estimates say that he will lose around $1 million a month for as long as his videos remain un-monetised. Paul has already had a starring role in an upcoming YouTube series revoked and continues to experience the social media onslaught after poor handling, and a half-hearted apology, following the suicide video.
Of course, Paul is collateral damage in an effort from YouTube to show the world that is has an understanding of the type of content that exists on the site. Late last year a channel called ‘ToyFreaks’ was taken down following allegations of child mistreatment and endangerment. It involved a father scaring his children, dressing them up as babies despite the fact they were school-age and filming distressing moments in their life; including a bloodied mouth and tears following a tooth falling out. Despite numerous complaints to YouTube, channel remained online for longer than it should have, amassing enough followers to become the 68th most popular channel on YouTube. This, of course, equates to many millions of dollars in advertising revenues being paid to someone who was later investigated for child endangerment.
YouTube has long claimed to be the bastion of free speech, doing its best not to take any sides in an argument, but some obvious lines are now being drawn. Paul’s video was posted for its shock value – a recently deceased person was available for anyone to see online, and for young children who form the majority of Paul’s base, to accidentally watch. Likewise, ToyFreaks was an attempt at humour for people who think that children getting hurt or scared is funny. Frankly, those people don’t deserve freedom of speech.
There are plenty of dark places on the Internet for those who seek to watch things like executions and criminal activity – but a mainstream website that is available to children should not be one of them.