YouTube cuts ties with vlogger Logan Paul over Japan suicide video

Logan Paul
Logan Paul Logan Paul Vlogs/ YouTube grab

Google's video arm YouTube has cut business ties with Logan Paul, the hugely popular vlogger who posted a video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan a few days ago.

Paul's channels were removed from YouTube's Google Preferred program, where brands sell ads on the top five per cent of the platform's content creators, the BBC reported.

YouTube also said it had put on hold original projects with the US vlogger. Paul posted the video with a man's body on December 31, triggering widespread criticism.

The video showed him and his friends at the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mount Fuji, known to be a frequent site of suicides, the BBC said.

Going in to film the "haunted" forest, they came across a man's body and were shocked but also cracked jokes. The identity of the deceased man was not known.

Logan Paul, who has more than 15 million subscribers on YouTube, later posted an apology on Twitter, saying he had been "misguided by shock and awe".

He also uploaded a video apology, and said: "I should have never posted the video. I should have put the cameras down and stopped recording what we were going through."

"I'm ashamed of myself," he added. "I'm disappointed in myself," the BBC quoted Paul as saying.

Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the developed world. Aokigahara has a reputation in Japan and internationally as a destination for people who want to kill themselves. It also has an ancient custom of committing suicides by older people in forests.

Data on the number of suicides there each year is not made public, to avoid publicising the site. Signs are posted in the forest urging people to seek medical help rather than take their lives.

(With additional inputs by the desk)