Blame Logan Paul—but Blame YouTube, Too

Its economic model rewards 'outlandish' behavior: 'Wired' essay
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2018 12:11 PM CST
Blame Logan Paul—but Blame YouTube, Too
Logan Paul is seen at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2017.   (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP, File)

YouTube star Logan Paul has endured plenty of abuse for a horrifying video he uploaded Sunday, showing a dead body in Japan’s "Suicide Forest." But those calling him "garbage" might want to expand their periphery, says Louise Matsakis. "There's no excuse for what Paul did … But blaming the YouTube star alone seems insufficient," she writes at Wired. That's because YouTube, which pockets 45% of advertising revenue from videos and often teams up with creators, "stands to benefit financially when he and creators like him gain millions of views off of outlandish episodes." As UCLA internet expert Sarah T. Roberts tells Matsakis, "YouTube is absolutely complicit in these kinds of things, in the sense that their entire economic model … is created fundamentally on people like Logan Paul."

What's worse is YouTube "often fails to adequately police its own content," Matsakis writes. While it's possible YouTube reviewed the Logan video and allowed it to remain, protecting one of the platform's biggest stars, vague policies, and a lack of transparency regarding video moderation make its intentions unclear. "Paul's video represents a potential turning point for YouTube, an opportunity to become more transparent about how it manages its own content," writes Matsakis, who proposes an edit log similar to those on Wikipedia so people can see the review process. "If it doesn’t take the chance, scandals like this one will only continue to happen." Read her piece in full here. (More opinion stories.)

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