Why Suicide Isn’t Funny and Never Will Be

Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

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On January 1st, 2018, YouTuber Logan Paul messed up. And there’s really no way to sugarcoat that fact. Both Logan, as well as his brother, Jake, made waves in 2017 with their somewhat controversial content, where they would document their young, rich, carefree antics. But Logan’s most recent video, which he has since removed, was a different type of controversial than his usual thorn-in-the-side, at-its-core-annoying, behavior.

Logan Paul filmed himself and his friends taking a trip to the famed Aokigahara Forest in Japan, otherwise known as the Suicide Forest. And honestly, if he had just stopped there and filmed a video of himself and his other privileged buddies going on an innocent hike, things would be different. But about 100 yards into the hike, Paul and his friends discovered the body of a suicide victim.

The logical response to this would be to turn off the cameras and to alert authorities immediately. And if Logan Paul had done that, again, things would be different. But instead, the young Youtube star decided to keep filming, getting close-ups of the body, and providing the minimum courtesy of blurring out the victim’s face. And while yes, Logan did in fact make some barely intelligent comments about the seriousness of the issue, he almost instantly negated them by joking about the situation. Yes, he cracked jokes. And filmed it. And uploaded it to YouTube.

But it doesn’t end there. Before uploading the video, Logan had to craft a thumbnail for the video in photoshop, where he puts the body on display alongside his own shocked face. And he had to edit it (or pay someone to edit it). He also included tags on the video, things such as “comedy” and “shook”.

Honestly, this is appalling. On YouTube, the Paul Brothers’ audience is largely a very young one, and the idea of them seeing this content, which is both graphic and entirely disrespectful, has put an awful flavor in a lot of viewers’ mouths. But what makes this whole thing worse is the idea that YouTube itself, an entity that regularly demonetizes LGBTQ+ related videos or any video that contains mere curse words, deliberately placed this video on their trending page. It’s been obvious for a while now that YouTube controls what’s trending, as most of the time, the page is riddled with ad videos that serve as sponsorships for the company. But instead of removing Logan’s video themselves, YouTube sent it straight to Trending, which has many YouTubers themselves outraged.

After all of this took place, Logan did issue an apology on his Twitter, but it’s receiving widespread criticism for being too narcissistic and dismissive. “I didn’t do it for views”, Logan writes. “I get views.” (And you’re about to get a whole lot less.)

While people may be at odds about Paul’s behavior (many of his more loyal fans are STILL defending his honor), this ordeal has taught all of us one very important thing. And that is the idea that suicide is NEVER funny, and it’s always an issue to be taken seriously. In America, suicide is the third leading cause of death for the 10-24 age group. And Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number in America is 1-800-273-8255. So please call if you need to talk, because suicide is never the answer.

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