Social media star Logan Paul has been dropped by YouTube’s preferred advertising programme following an incident in which he posted a video clip of a dead body hanging from a tree in Japan, the company has announced.
Additionally, the company has said that the 22-year old Paul – who has 15 million YouTube followers - will be cut from the upcoming season of the original series “Foursome”, a comedy series featuring Paul and a number of other prominent YouTube personalities, and that a number of other new originals Paul was involved in “are on hold.”
“We expect more of the creators who build their community on YouTube, as we’re sure you do too,” YouTube said in a statement. “The channel violated our community guidelines, we acted accordingly, and we are looking at further consequences.”
Paul faced fierce criticism after the December 31 video, which appeared to show the aftermath of a suicide in a Japanese forest, with many critics saying the clip was inappropriate and insensitive to people facing psychiatric problems.
Following the incident, Paul took down the video and posted an apology that was seen by viewers over 39 million times
Additionally, YouTube came under fire from many observers for what some considered a slow response.
“Many of you have been frustrated with our lack of communication recently,” YouTube said in an open letter to viewers posted to Twitter. “You’re right to be. You deserve to know what’s going on.”
“Suicide is not a joke, nor should it ever be a driving force for views,” the statement added. “It has taken us a long time to respond, but we’ve been listening to everything you’ve been saying.”
According to YouTube, the company will “soon” share additional steps they are taking to “ensure a video like this is never circulated again.”
YouTube’s move to distance itself from Paul comes as the company has struggled to combat inappropriate material which has become an increasing concern for advertisers, some of whom have already stopped spending money on the site because of concerns that the company cannot ensure ads won’t run alongside objectionable material.
The company, which relies heavily on artificial intelligence and users to identify material that violates YouTube guidelines, has recently pledged to hire an additional 10,000 staff members to help combat the spread of inappropriate videos.
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