This week, the internet collectively lost its minds over a YouTube upload by Logan Paul (who we will henceforth refer to as Baby Benji), after the social media mogul uploaded graphic footage of a suicide victim in Japan’s ‘Suicide Forest’.
The details aren’t worth repeating here — but in short, Baby Benji acted like an insensitive goober, smirking, guffawing, and thrusting the camera into his wide-eyed face in front of the dangling corpse of a human being.
The video was deleted less than 24 hours after it was uploaded, but not before it rose into YouTube’s top ten trending videos.
Bottom line: YouTube has a standards issue
YouTube and Baby Benji have since apologized, and the video streaming site seems to have moved on without much fuss.
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This isn’t the first time a mega-tuber has wriggled around YouTube’s “best practices.” PewdiePie, who runs YouTube’s biggest channel (54m+ subs) received nothing more than a ginger wrist-poke from the streaming giant in the wake of his anti-Semitic comments.
Surely, 2017 was not a good year for YouTube’s moral standards: they lost millions in ad revenue when advertisers pulled their content after noticing their ads playing over several videos involving child exploitation.
Some YouTubers are just too big to fail
According to BuzzFeed’s findings, Baby Benji’s video was initially reviewed and approved by YouTube after being flagged by concerned viewers. Meaning, YouTube saw it, and in their infinite wisdom decided not to take action.
With a business model hinged on getting as many views as possible, YouTube has clearly lost control of policing their top users. They claim to have a staunch no-dead body or racial slur-policy, but for some reason an exception is made for their biggest “stars.”